There is No Right Path

5 min readAug 24, 2021
Photo by Rachel Claire from Pexels

I decided that it didn’t matter what major I chose in college. It didn’t matter what I studied or that I obtained a degree at all, really. Because I was going to play professional basketball. That would be my career, traveling the world performing a sport I’d discovered I loved. All else was secondary and irrelevant.

So, I left my prestigious Chicago film school. Along with the hour-long train rides from my northwest Indiana home and the mile-long treks through rain, snow, and freezing temperatures necessary to get there. Instead, I enrolled at a local university. One that had a basketball team I could join.

The extent of my preparation for this undertaking was two years in a YMCA summer league while in elementary school, and playing one-on-one with my brother. Our stepfather built a hoop next to the driveway using a slab of wood as the backboard. That was enough to spark my one-sided love affair with the game. But those college girls who’d been playing organized basketball since they were toddlers wiped the floor with me. Mopped it clean.

I was a natural athlete.

I could run fast and jump high. But basic knowledge of things like practice drills and how to check-in to a game wasn’t in my repertoire. For me, touching the ball resembled a game of hot potato. I just wanted to give it to someone else as fast as possible. Someone who knew what to do with it.

The coach undressed me in front of teammates and spectators with his exasperated, bewildered yelling. I couldn’t even get mad at him with my awareness that I did indeed look like hot garbage out there on the court. Hot, disoriented garbage.

In case you’re still wondering for some odd reason, I didn’t go pro. This isn’t a “zero to hero,” Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school varsity basketball team type of story. I got much, MUCH better. Even made a semi-pro summer league after graduating. But better than awful only takes you so far.

My most valuable lessons learned weren’t what you might think. Playing basketball taught me what it’s like to feel humiliated and incompetent. But you don’t feel that way without also learning to be vulnerable. Without opening yourself up to potential embarrassment, criticism, and the exposition of your failings.


Critically acclaimed author. Music connoisseur. Multi-passionate creative. I’ve lost a lot of sleep to dreams….