Remember when we met for the very first time? I had no idea that my life would change forever, when I first laid my eyes on you.
I only agreed to meet you because I needed some kind of amusement, and according to my friends, you would be just the right thing for that.
But you had other ideas.
I think it was the moment when I put on my first pair of basketball shoes and my coach handed me my first jersey — the one with my name on the back with my favorite number: 15 — when I realized that I fell in love with you.
You just brought me so much joy. No matter how bad my day was you could always bring the smile back on my face. I don’t think I ever took the time to thank you for that.
You were my distraction. Whenever I was with you, I could forget about everything else that was going on around me. With you, everything felt so right.
The relationship with you pushed me to my limits. In the beginning it was just fun. Fooling around a little bit, testing out how well we could work together.
But soon, it started to get serious. I gave you my body and my mind. I started thinking about you 24/7. You taught me how to be uncomfortable. You taught me that tough times don’t last. You asked me for everything I had and I was willing to give it to you, because I got so much more in return.
Like every other relationship, there were times when I doubted ours. I wasn’t sure if we were walking in the right direction. I wasn’t convinced that you and I really had a future.
You told me to stop worrying, to just take it one day at a time, and that’s what I did. I started to believe that everything happened for a reason. You made me understand that without putting in the work, I wouldn’t see the results. So I put in the work. Every day I pushed past my comfort zone. Because that’s what you asked from me.
In return you gave me the best teammates anybody could ask for. You gave me coaches that had my back no matter what and you gave me a support system that I could always rely on.
You helped me push myself beyond pain and discomfort. Not for awards or compliments, but for you. Everything I did was for you.
Because, if you love somebody, that’s what you do. You give them your all and you don’t look back. You gave me so much. You gave me purpose. You gave me goals. You helped me put my dreams into reality. You were everything I hoped you would be and so much more.
When I was 10 years old, I had no idea where to go. You took me by the hand and lead the way. You showed me that there are so many opportunities out there for me, if I would just stay with you.
And I did. For almost 13 years.
For the last four years I followed you to America and we had the time of our lives. It was a blast. We made so many memories together and just thinking about them makes me smile.
I believe that every relationship has its ups and downs. I know I let you down for the last month. I didn’t pay any attention to you. Whenever somebody mentioned you, I ignored them, I carried on with my life — a life without you in it.
Forgive me, but I needed a break. You didn’t do anything wrong, I just had to be sure.
For the last 10 years we spent everyday together. My every move was with you in the back of my mind. I canceled summer vacations to be around you. I turned friends down because you took all of my time. I am not blaming you, because back then it was exactly what I wanted.
But after the season was over, I wasn’t sure if we still have the same goals. I wasn’t sure if I could imagine the next part of my life with you in it. Maybe it was time to part our ways. We had a heck of a time. What if it wouldn’t get any better? What if the best times were behind us?
I thought I could do it. Living a life without you. But my heart is aching and I miss you every day a little bit more.
I think I am ready to make memories again, and ready for you to push me to my limits once again.
You and me, we are not done yet. Are you ready? Because I am.
I will love you always, basketball,