The game of basketball has came a long way since its creation in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith. I can’t even begin to imagine how he would feel if he could see the evolution of the sport he invented all those years ago. The NBA greats like Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell were making less then one million a year in their prime. Last week, Russell Westbrook became the highest paid player in history making $205 million over the next five years. That may seem outrageous to some, but justified to others.
Basketball is a money making machine in today’s economy. From jersey sales, sell out crowds in arenas all around the world, or sneaker and clothing apparel marketed to every kid who well ever pick up a ball. Has basketball become a dollar figure to young aspiring athletes or is it still the love for the game that they seek? AAU or amateur athletic union has become the epicenter for finding talent in basketball. Kids starting as young as eight or nine years old are getting recruited, scouted, and pruned for the picking. Now, AAU does have its positives that need to be explored also. Growing up playing basketball, I usually witnessed two types of players. One, The guys who showed up when the lights were brightest and two, the guys who showed up to impress the coaches in practice. Nerves are a key factor in playing effectively. You can either push through them or crumble under its weight. AAU basketball and the amount of games played each summer naturally decreases those nerves because your game becomes second nature. It’s almost like breathing or thinking you just do it because it’s what your supposed to do. Like all crafts in life, we must work on them repeatedly until we master them. The problem is, you can’t just throw your self into a game and expect to perform differently unless you work on mistakes, practice, and become coachable. Practice makes perfect seems so self explanatory but does our younger generation understand what that truly means. See I love AAU basketball and what it does for this sport but if we can slow down and enjoy the game, respect it for the craft it is and develop our players. Can you imagine the poetry in motion we would see? I understand it makes money and money makes the world go round but ask yourself this question, what are we sacrificing?
Think about Naismith and respecting the game he created all those years ago. Remember the game you fell in love with when you were a little kid first laying your hands on a ball.
Lets be disciplined not only with the game we love but with the gift God has given us in life. Every morning we wake its a gift granted that we don’t deserve but He does give it. I encourage you to give everything of yourself to the Lord so that He can use you to your fullest. You are Gods masterpiece and you are exactly how He intended to create you. What we may see as flaws and failures, He sees as perfection and it’s all according to His will for your life.
Study on your own – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27