My name is Betty Lennox of the WNBA and I am sharing with you why basketball is important, not only to me but to women all over the world.
In today’s world you can find disappointment in everything you do in life, but for me basketball is an escape. Many years ago when I was in elementary school, I was introduced to this game. I come from a large family and all of my eight siblings were involved with basketball. Unlike my sisters, I grew up with boys and they made me cry. I cried the most when I played basketball with them, but what I did not know was how crying during those games built character in me.
In basketball, you cannot cry about not getting the ball, the calls that refs make, or even the outcome of a game. Basketball has taught me how to believe in myself, how to carry myself, and also how to deal with hard times and setbacks.
It is the opportunity to play basketball that motivates me to keep going in life. From basketball, I have been afforded the opportunity to show young people how to lead, teach, and to keep fighting for what they believe. Yes, we all get upset when we miss a shot and the ball does not fall our way…. but do we stop playing? No! We keep going just like in life. Men will sometimes say no to women when they come to the court and ask to play. However, it is not until a woman stands her ground and calls next or gets picked by a team that the men can truly see her game and what she brings to the court.
Basketball teaches all aspects of life to everyone. It gives a voice to the woman who may be shy in the world but who otherwise has a commanding voice on the court. Basketball gives that woman the power to overcome her fears of stepping out; it can make her feel that she can speak up as she sinks the game winning shot over a man. Now that I have seen this game in many different countries and on different teams, I no longer worry about the calls that people make about me in life. Basketball has made me a stronger woman and helped me to believe in myself when no one else would.
I thank God for the talent that He has blessed me with and for giving me the understanding of what this game really means. As it was once told to me, “Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” That is why basketball is important to women. It teaches us to believe in ourselves and to push ourselves beyond our perceived limits.
Betty Lennox #22
WNBA Champion & WNBA Finals MVP Betty Lennox has played in the WNBA for 11 years, most recently with the Tulsa Shock. Visit Betty’s website for additional information about her phenomenal sports career and her non-profit foundation, Lennox Foundation 22, which assists abused and neglected children.
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