We all have our own sets of idols who had humble beginnings, and nothing could be more inspiring than the stories of many of the teams in the world of sports.
Arguably one of the most famous sports, basketball and many players have captured the eyes and hears of the many fans worldwide. One of the teams that would never be forgotten in history is the Los Angeles Lakers.
Taking a trip down memory lane, I can still recall how the now world-famous team sparked my interest in the world of sports. And though I took a different path as a writer, the Lakers inspired me to focus on writing about sports.
As far as I can remember, my interest in playing and watching basketball started when I received my own copy of the video game NBA Live 2003. After installing the game in my computer, I could not stop playing because I was captivated by the screen shots of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal doing some pick and roll plays.
With my curiosity and amazement trickling through my veins, I immediately went to play an exhibition game between the Lakers and the New Jersey Nets. The game helped me learn more about the players. I learned how efficient Kobe Bryant could be.
Given his arsenal of impossible fade away jumpshots and acrobatic highlight reel dunks, I could not stop playing the video game. I learned during those moments that the Lakers use one of the most complicated coaching styles known in basketball which was the Triangle Offense.
Time flew and I continued to play the game. I’ve learned to use the other teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and many more. I also delved deeper into the finer aspects of the sport of basketball.
Everything started to come together. I learned the importance of counting and banking on assists, rebounds, turnovers and a whole lot more. After playing this game, I felt like I had an entire sports encyclopedia in my head as the video game gave me access to an entirely whole new world of knowledge in the sporting world.
With my new found knowledge, I started to play the sport more often. I remember going to Las Haciendas de Luisita clubhouse in San Miguel, Tarlac City for pickup basketball games with my dad. I struggled when I started since applying theory always needs to be accompanied with practice. As time passed, I finally learned its finer points because I was taught by peers and relatives extensively. I then joined our grade school basketball varsity and manned the shooting guard position.
I played for two years, but when I entered Grade 6 back in 2007, I took a path that I didn’t expect. I started to learn to play the guitar since I was influenced by the band 6cyclemind – a band that had two Bosconians in Ney Dimaculangan (vocals) and Ryan Sarmiento (rhythm guitar). With my newfound passion in playing the guitar, I shifted my priorities towards animating our Educative Pastoral Community masses (EPC) with Don Bosco Tarlac’s Music Ministry. I formed a band with my batchmates, and we played for during mass countless of times.
My interest for sports was clearly gone as my musical inclination took over. But Idid not want my knowledge of the sport to go to waste, and that would be the case if I totally halted my connections with it.
An idea suddenly popped into my head that time. Since I frequently wrote the news for our school paper, The Bosconian, I transforming myself into a sports writer. It wasn’t an easy task though since basketball was the only sport that I have enough knowledge on. During those times, I immediately went back into watching a ton of NBA Games and other sports to beef up my memory banks with the needed knowledge to strive in the fields of writing a sports story.
It was also a perfect moment that time since most of my sports idols were making big waves in their respective fields. In those years, the rivalry between the Lakers and the Boston Celtics became relevant again since the 1980s; the De La Salle Green Archers also won the championship that time after being suspended for one season; Tiger Woods dominated the PGA tour; and the lists goes on.
Having found a cohesive balance between music and sports writing, I felt fulfilled and realized that I developed my potentials further. I also found that I benefitted a lotfrom my experiences especially in sports writing.
It was indeed a unique journey into becoming the very person that I am today. What was once a curiosity towards a basketball video game transformed me into the very sports journalist and musician I am today.