Sports have been a significant part on my life since I was little and I have grown to love sports because of my family. From my uncle’s love for the game of football to my godfather being a basketball player to my dad taking me to every sporting event, these actions lead me to admire and appreciate sports.

“If all I'm remembered for is being a good basketball player, then I've done a bad job with the rest of my life.”
― Isiah Thomas

1. Rivalries

Rivalries are unique to watching sports because individuals are guaranteed those specific match-ups each year, causing sports fans to look forward to viewing the games.

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2. Teamwork

I get connected to those I play with, not only growing closer with teammates but also developing respect for those I play against. Basketball forces me to trust my teammates, teaches me to be a team player and pushes me to get back up and keep playing, no matter how bad the score may be or how bad of a game I might have had.

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3. Emotion and Passion

Even though I love every aspect of basketball, there has always been one part of it that sits as king above all the rest — playing a real game. Those who’ve played on a team know exactly what I’m talking about. There is absolutely nothing like the nerves you get right before a game, the hype that rises within you as you listen to your music during warm-ups and the rush of adrenaline as soon as that jump ball starts. Once the ball goes up, you know what’s about to go down. All that matters in that moment is playing the game.

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4. The Competitiveness

Reflecting on all this, it becomes clear to me that I love basketball not because it’s a sport but because it represents so much more. It’s my release, the opportunity for me to just set aside any worries or troubles, even for a moment, and to focus on just playing my heart out in a game that brings me so much excitement and joy.

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5. Family Bonding

From Sunday and Thursday Night football to holiday games to “take me out to the ball game” sports is a way to connect with family and have a great time together. Sports is not only just for family bonding, but it’s also a way to bond with friends and enjoy each other’s company.

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6. Hard Work

Even with all the losses, the injuries and the frustrations that may arise when playing basketball, there remain endless memories of sheer happiness, joy, contentment. I wouldn't trade any of it away because it has made me who I am today. Without basketball, I wouldn’t have had the determination to keep moving forward, the opportunity to meet new people or the feeling of freedom from burdens and responsibilities.

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7. Rules

I'm not normally someone who loves rules, but they are what make sport so enjoyable. When a team continually breaks the rules or ignores the rules, it makes a mockery of competition and takes away the enjoyment of sport. Of course, in sport, much of this comes about through human interpretation and is open to human error and/or bias. But that's exactly what makes sports so enjoyable.

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8. Pleasure

I could simply go on forever about the reasons why I love basketball, which I’m sure by now is pretty clear. I dread the day when my body can no longer handle running on the court or handling the ball, but until that day comes, I will never stop playing what I love — this sport that is my comforter, my teacher and my companion in life.

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9. Achievement

The squeak of the court, the swish of a shot, the smack of a block, the shared laughter of teammates — these moments and memories last forever. Ever since the 4th grade, basketball has been one of my favorite aspects of life.

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10. It's a part of my life

People always ask me why I love the game so much, and honestly, I don't know. There are so many amazing things about the game. Nothing can compete with the feeling when I block someone's shot or when I shoot the ball and know it is going to be nothing but net as soon as it leaves your hand. Nothing gives you a rush like when you or a teammate hits a buzzer beater shot for the win. And nothing is more comforting than knowing that you have a team that is your family and will stick with you through thick or thin.

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