The moment that the announcer called your name out and the fans start cheering for you. This is a moment that every athlete experiences, a moment that makes you feel so excited and nervous at the same time. In that moment you realize that you have people who believe in you. These moments are something that comes along with the athletic experience, and are something that I am so grateful to have gotten to experience. I thought that the last time that would happen to me was my Senior Night in college. My whole family was attending the game, and when my name was called out they all stood for me and cheered. I will never forget the amount of love I felt in that moment. It didn’t hit me until my first home game, when the announcer called out my name that I was going to be given this opportunity again. We were playing our biggest rival from Cork, Glanmire. The hype of the game had been going on for over a week. The day before the game I was sent a picture of my teammate and I in the national paper. I never would have imagined that I would make the newspaper in a foreign country for basketball in my entire life. The crowd was filled with fans from all over Cork, and most were wearing their bright red Brunell gear. My family might not have been at the game, but when they called out my name I felt that feeling of love all over again. It was an amazing feeling, and propelled me with confidence into the game.
We did not end up winning the game, but we gave them a very good run (being tied to start the fourth quarter). After the game I reflected back on the night: I am so glad that I never gave up when the going got tough. The blood, sweat, tears, and love have leaded me to wear I am today. They gave me the opportunity to feel that feeling all over again, a chance that most athletes want but do not get to experience. I am feeling truly grateful and humbled.