My amazing mother has been the team mom on almost every team I have been on and supported me like no other. My talented sister has sung the anthem at many of my games, supported me, and dealt with 21 years of constant and excessive basketball talk in our household. You often hear the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. This certainly applies to my life in more ways than one, and I could not be more thankful for the village that raised me. However, without a doubt the person I owe everything to when it comes to basketball is my father. Whether my dad was officially coaching me, or on the sidelines during games, he has always been the best coach I have ever had. My dad taught me the fundamentals of the game at a young age which created good habits. He always put the player and team development over winning, while still maintaining a competitive atmosphere. He taught me the importance of teamwork, and how selfless a game basketball is meant to be. Whether it was me or one of the many other girls he coached, he always made sure we loved the game and had fun. As I got older, he constantly pushed me to work toward my goals and provided me with every opportunity and resource I needed to make that happen. We would sneak into gyms, workout in the dark in our driveway, stay after practices or games to get extra reps, break down film together, have long post game talks, you name it and he was there doing it with me. My dad has always been my biggest supporter and source of confidence. I can count on my fingers how many games in my entire career he and my mom have missed, even if that meant traveling all over the country to be there. He gives me nothing but confidence during games, and I get such peace when I look over or listen to him in the stands. I can proudly say that I would not be playing college basketball if it wasn’t for my dad. The hours he spent researching schools and programs, coaching and traveling to AAU tournaments for college exposure, or going on visits with me is just immeasurable. I am forever grateful for all that he has done and continues to do for me. I owe everything about the player, teammate, leader, and person that I am to my dad and the impact his coaching has had on me. He focuses on the right things, knows the game so well, coaches all the intangibles of the sport, and supports me unconditionally. Some of these things are rare to find in sports these days. He has inspired me to want to coach just like him when I am older and have the same life changing impact, he has had on me with my own kids. Let’s just say that when it comes to a father and a coach, I got a pretty good one.
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