I started playing sports as soon as I learned to walk and 39 years later I haven’t stopped. As a child growing up in Merredin, a small country town in Western Australia, if you didn’t play sports then there wasn’t much else to do.
At 15, I decided that out of all the sports I played, basketball was my true passion and I wanted to pursue this to the best of my abilities. There were many doubters at the time. At 5 feet 5 inches tall it was jibed that I was too short to make anything out of it. However, basketball was my dream and no one was going to take that away from me without giving it a go and if anything, it certainly helped my motivation to succeed.
I made so many sacrifices in my journey to be the best that I can be and also overcame some major knee injuries. There were only two choices to select from at this stage and that was either quit or get back up and keep going for it. I chose the latter.
Basketball has played a significant part in my life as it has been my job for the past 18 years. Through hard work and plenty of determination, I have been paid to play the sport I love all around the world and have met so many different people. My biggest honor came with my selection to represent my country, Australia, at the World Championships in Brazil 2006 and the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Words cannot describe the feeling of looking up at your nation’s flag and singing the national anthem before millions of viewers. The word PROUD comes to mind.
Basketball has taught me how to be a leader, how to handle adversities, the importance of communication and listening skills, and so many more characteristics that can also be used in life. I have never been the most talented player on the court, but I make up for that in pure effort, determination, persistence, and heart.
Basketball has also allowed me to impact other people’s lives, something I wouldn’t have normally had the chance to do. I have been a role model for the young and old, boys and girls, men and women. To make a positive impact in a person’s life and change it for the better are priceless moments that make what I do so fulfilling.
I would not be the person I am today without basketball.
Tully Bevilaqua #41
Olympian & WNBA Champion, Tully Bevilaqua, plays for the San Antonio Silver Stars. The WNBA veteran is in her 14th and final season with the league. Visit Tully’s website for additional information about her phenomenal sports career, and check out our recent article on Tully’s leadership in the community. Connect with Tully on Twitter @Bevilaqua41.
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