Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Un-Glamourous

I may never beat you off the dribble or blow by you with my first step. It’s unlikely I’ll be selected to take the game winning shot or wow you with my fancy passing. I’ll never be the player everyone wants autographs from or whose moves fans constantly try to mimic…But one thing is for certain – you need me to win basketball games.

I’m the silent one in the background, the tall presence that stays out of the spotlight. I’m the player that accepts my role and tries not to complain about lack of touches. This is one aspect out of my control, as I need my teammates to feed me. Instead of grumbling, I focus on rebounding and interior defense.

I take my lunch pail and put on my blue collar before every game. I sacrifice my body, set screens, take the hits and outwork my opponents. I focus on my strengths and stay away from my weaknesses. I do the dirty work, clean up the glass, bang inside and crash the ‘O’ boards. I’m what gives the team its edge.

I’m the under-appreciated, under-recognized, overlooked and un-glamourous. I’m your big. Your inside player. Your post, pivot and power forward. I may not be the most agile or the most fun to watch. I won’t hit a deep 3 in your face. My physical tools aren’t jaw-dropping and there’s a slim chance I’ll take you coast to coast. But I will be one of your toughest players. I will patrol the paint and I will be the enforcer. I will stand up for my smaller teammates, anchor the team and impose my physical strength on opponents. I will intimidate.

The guards will get the recognition; people will buy their jerseys. Fans will fight for their autograph, chase after them for photos and follow their every move. I, on the other hand will quietly slip out of the arena without fanfare, while nursing multiple war wounds.

The only recognition I want is a pat on the back from my coach and the respect of my teammates.

The perimeter position is glamourized by media. It’s the place everyone wants to play and succeed at. It’s where players are noted and acknowledged. Where careers are cemented. Seemingly, no one wants to play inside anymore and embrace the label of ‘forward’. Nowadays there are 6’9”+ (men) and 6’1”+ (women) who prefer to crossover and shoot jumpers than make drop steps and bank shots. I think it’s because they’re scared to venture in the paint inside. Sadly, the post player is slowly becoming a dying breed.

I don’t need the newspaper articles, TV interviews or radio broadcasts. I’ll take the black eyes (6+), stitches, broken noses (3), and cheap shots under the cup. I’ll accept the bad calls from officials just because I’m bigger and stronger than other players. I’ll take the blame for a missed chippy, layup or rotation in help. I’ll take the brunt of the criticism for team breakdowns because I’m the tallest and always seem to be an easy scapegoat. I’ll take all of it, every time, as long as it puts a tally in the win column.

I’ve been an undersized forward my whole life. I’ve got battle scars, an imperfect nose and an achy body. I’m an inside player and don’t pretend to be anything else.

-BW

6 comments:

AC said...

well said, Bre. i cannot agree more with you. stay confident, stay grounded and keep being the amazing basketball player that you are!

Anonymous said...

You make all post players proud. I'm impressed by your ability to express things. Any coach at any level would want a player with your unique abilities on his team. WELL DONE!

SB

Anonymous said...

Right on point Bre!! Good to know you have not changed your habits, like thomas edison once said, "opportunity is missed by most people because its dressed in overalls and looks like work"
Also love the fact that even after having success as a player, you still remain humble and down to earth. You are a good example of the fact that success is just the intersection, where dreams and hard work meet!!!
Keep working hard, theres not a coach in the world that wouldn´t want to have a player with your heart.

Coach Mikko

Lindsey said...

I.LOVE.THIS. BLOG. Period. period. period

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Oooooooweeee!! I love it! I hear your words loud and clear. Accepting a role is something that every team needs and what 90% of people dont want to do. Way to be that 10%!

W2D