When I first started playing ball, I was always in love with the game. From making baskets out of paper and tape, then hangers, getting the courts that stick on the wall and watching basketball and copying every player I liked.
I remember, Ice Man, Bobby Jones, Dr. J, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird being my early teachers. I copied them all at home in my room, but, we played...
more football than anything in my hood. You could play football all year around in any weather, that's why I spent so much time making courts and shooting hoops in my room. Aiming at those small targets with tape over paper for balls, is how I mastered the art of shooting. I could hit a jumper from across the room in a 4inch cylinder, for a hoop.
I fell in love with the game early. Today at the graceful age of 46, I still love the game. I protect it, I'm critical of it. I imagine the game and when I go to the gym, I always have something in mind that I want to share. I always go to the gym wanting to teach and share something with players. But that passion is my curse. I'm guilty because of my love for the game. It's not appreciated, always taken for granted and over shadowed by the glitter and shine.
My passion is unmatched by my players, parents, my opponents. Nobody has the passion for the game that I have and I'm guilty for it. My passion is my fault. My passion drives my organization. Because when you love something so much, that's where your time, your thoughts and your attention goes. I'm here for the game. I'm here because I love it. I live for it. Because of that I am guilty of my passion.
But this is not an apology.
I just want to be around passionate lovers of the game. I want to be around those who love the game, have the passion, and that's why they play and support it. No other reason. Not for scholarships, not because their parents want them to play, not for rankings, not for Championships, not for gear, social media likes, popularity, or for what everyone else plays for. I want to be around those who will do whatever it takes to get better because they just love the game. Not the outsides, the insides the politics, or the hoopla, just love the game. I'm here for the game, meet me here.
Those who play for the love are the most successful in the game. A lot of people play for other reasons which is there choice, but I am guilty for my passion because I love the game. The passionate ones and lovers of the game, get the scholarships, get the opportunities, put themselves in position to be successful. Do the work to better themselves which will make them a better teammate. Want to grow, have fun and enjoy their growth. The game is always fun when you're good. That's the passion of the game, "I want to be good." That should be the only goal and worry.
Getting good is fun! You see the fruits of your labor when you're passionate about the game. Passion can also be mistaken for an excuse. Attitudes and anger usually. But the game knows who love it. You get out what you put in. You love it, it'll love you back.
My passion never sleeps.
by Lonnie Harrell