Personal Essay On Basketball

I'm applying to UCSD, UCSB, and UCI this fall as a transfer student. Here's my essay answering this prompt. Please, any feedback is appreciated!

Tell us about a personal quality, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

At a young age, basketball became an integral part of my life. I was eight years old and in the second grade when my family moved from the Philippines to California. As a new student who spoke little English, I had difficulty making friends, but putting a ball through a hoop is universal. Quickly, play during recess disintegrated the language barrier between me and fellow classmates. Thus, my love for the game began.

Years passed, and my dedication for the sport exponentially grew. I experienced great success at every level of play, and by the time I was a freshman in high school, I was promoted to the varsity team. Although I was the team's youngest player, I contributed to its success. However, one day in practice, as I tried blocking a shot, I suffered a left knee twist that left me writhing in pain. After seeing an orthopedic surgeon, I learned that I ruptured my anterior cruciate ligament. I had two simple options. If I ever wanted to play basketball again, I needed to undergo knee surgery. Otherwise, I was facing a career-ending injury.

For the first time, I was sidelined due to a serious injury that required surgery and rigorous rehabilitation. In the four months that followed after surgery, not only was I physically unable to play, but I was stripped of my comfort zone. Left behind was a gaping hole of emptiness that could only be filled with the satisfaction of playing basketball once again.

After countless physical therapy sessions, hours spent on the bike, and hundreds of used ice bags, I successfully recovered and completed my sophomore season. As my junior year approached, I gained some interest from college programs. However, in the 11th game of the season, with the head coach from Columbia University watching from the stands, I awkwardly planted my right knee, and once again heard the familiar pop that ended my season just a year ago; the result was another torn ACL. Despite warnings of developing arthritis in later years, I chose to undergo a second knee surgery. Simply put, I was not ready to end my basketball career.

Three years later, time has allowed me to see the bigger picture that I could not see before: life can step in at any time and alter our plans. As many athletes do, I imagined earning a full ride scholarship right out of high school and continuing to play at the college level. Despite my knee injuries, I never believed that my goal was unattainable; instead, I needed to find a different route to get there. So even though I was accepted to universities out of high school, I chose to play for one of the top junior college programs in Northern California.

Playing basketball has allowed me to establish life-long friendships and it is the source of my relentless, driven attitude. More importantly, it made me understand that having passion and satisfaction is essential in achieving true happiness. Regardless of the physical and emotional pain I have endured because of it, basketball brings me complete joy. And although they blemish my skin, I can not help but feel proud of my knee scars. What were once painful memories now serve as reminders of the obstacle I faced and of my own personal growth.

I enjoyed reading this! However, you should work more on your introduction. College admissions take one look at the first paragraph and make a judgement about the essay. The intro sets the whole tone for the essay, so if your intro is catchy, they will more likely want to keep reading with interest. You could maybe do something descriptive. Something like "Only 1 minute in the game is left, and the crowd is roaring. With beads of sweat glistening on my forehead, I push myself to the maximum to reach that hoop. 12 seconds. As I raise my arms and aim for the dangling white net, my teamates begin chanting my name. "_____, ______, _______" This is where I belong, I thought to myself, This is my moment." Something like that.

Essay on Basketball

Basketball has been apart of my life since I was the tender age of 5. Ever since the day my dad put that round leather sphere into my hands I haven’t been able to get enough of it. To me basketball isn’t just a sport, but an outlet from schoolwork, a basis of enjoyment, a place where I can socialize and obviously a source of exercise.

Anytime I start to feel the stress of school and work, I always basketball as my way of winding down. The moment I step out onto the concrete paved court in my front yard I feel released.

Whether it is the swish sound of nothing but net or the rhythmic bounce of the ball when I’m dribbling. Whatever it is, for those 10 or so minutes I’m out there, I feel completely refreshed, and feel that I can take anything on. It’s almost, eerie how much better it makes me feel. But I positively believe that is something in my blood. Both Mum and Dad played, so they’ve rubbed off on me somehow.


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I play both representative and domestic basketball. Representative is a great deal more competitive and serious than domestic, however I find playing representative much more enjoyable. I guess it’s the fact that I’m playing with girls of the same age as myself, that have the same interests as I do, and are all as serious about basketball as I am. It’s also nice to have that separate group of friends away from the group of friends at school. I sometimes find it easier to talk to my friends at basketball than those from school, I presume it’s because we all spend some much time together, with us training three days and playing twice a week.

I don’t really look at basketball as a way of getting exercise, but it is. Playing in VC (which is the highest level you can get to in Victoria) you have to be in pretty good shape. Our trainings are very demanding. We run, non-stop, for 2 hours on a Sunday. This keeps our fitness levels up to the standard expected of us. To be perfectly honest, I don’t mind this sort of torture because I know that it’s keeping me from becoming ‘chubby’. Although at times I question myself on why I continue to literally run myself into the ground. On Thursdays and Tuesdays our trainings usually consist of skill drills and running through strategic plays for our games on Friday nights. It’s pretty full on.

Last but not least. I play because I LOVE to! I get some much enjoyment out of it. The best part of my week is on a Friday afternoon when the final bell of the day rings at five past three, I become anxious and excited about the game I will be preparing myself for, for the rest of the afternoon. But the most enjoyable part of playing basketball would have to be the finals you get to play in at the end of the season. Grand Final Day is so much fun! Everyone is so pumped to be there, being able to play in the grand final and knowing that if you win or lose you get a trophy, having your parents and friends cheering for you on the bench. Every time you score a goal everyone roars with excitement and the sound echo’s through the stadium, it’s the most motivating thing when your on the court, having your team and crowd yelling out to you it’s extremely uplifting.

So you now know why basketball is a big part of my life and why I feel so strongly about it. I know you might think it’s only a sport, but to me, it’s a way of life.

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