January 18th, 2016 | Uncategorized
When applying to be a Victory Scholar for Sport Changes Life, it is assumed that you believe the fact that sports can actually change lives. The thought of bettering someone else’s life through basketball is what is so appealing about the program, but rarely do the Victory Scholars themselves get into the specifics of how their lives have been changed through the sport that takes up such a significant portion of their lives.
I was in third grade when I first fell in love with the sport of basketball. I made the decision that I wanted to be a great player at that young age. At that time, I had no clue where the sport could or would take me, but my competitive nature had me practicing in my driveway at every free moment, shooting in the gym any time I had the chance, practicing my dribbling moves in front of the TV, anything I could do to get better. As I continued to grow up, it helped me gain confidence and always left me with something to strive for and achieve. I no longer was the painfully shy little girl with no self-confidence. I now had a sense of purpose and pride. I developed a strong work ethic, learning discipline and self-motivation along the way. I used these new tools both on the court and in the classroom, as I knew I needed to maintain high grades if I wanted to play in college.
With each practice, a new lesson was learned. With each game, my passion grew. With each team, new memories were made. Basketball was my source of intense joy, as well as extreme disappointment. It made me feel loss, disappointment, and failure; but then, it taught me to be resilient. It helped me thrive under pressure and come out on top.
In a life full of change and unpredictable events, I always had one constant- something I could always turn to at all times whether it was as a stress reliever, a place of peace, or a source of happiness. This was the sport of basketball. Having that ball in my hand or a gym to myself could get me through any issue that came my way.
I did not know the doors that basketball could open up for me until it happened. I got the opportunity to travel all around the states, get my college education paid for, and develop lifelong relationships with coaches and teammates. I met people who shaped me into the person I am today, people who still impact my life right now. Basketball gave me the opportunity to come to Ireland, where I have again met people who have no doubt changed my life, along with memories and experiences that will never be forgotten. It has now given me the opportunity to give back some of what I have experienced and pass it on to others, and this is what I hope to achieve.
Victory Scholar: Meghan McGuinness
Present University: Trinity College Dublin
US League Partner: MAAC
Club/Community Partner: Meteors Ladies Basketball
Alma Mater: Niagara University
Sponsored by: Teamwear Ireland