THIS is the time of the year that I enjoy tickling your heart with some encouraging words.
How time really flies. You are now in your fourth year of high school basketball at Philadelphia High School.
Yes, I get it, you have earned it through hard work and perseverance. That is not even to say you have my unequivocal support because you continue to keep your end of our bargain, which is to maintain your high scholastic standings.
Your stints in the forthcoming tournaments are truly challenging. The seniors on the team have graduated to college and several more have left for greener pastures.
Having morphed into a battle-scarred veteran, somehow you are now obligated to carry the torch for this young Panthers team.
This is even more so because you essentially have become the team’s top point guard (by default or not), the general on the court that will have to essay the plays and read the defense in game situations correctly and diligently.
The straw that will stir the Panthers’ drink, you need to make your teammates happy and contented in a leadership role. Taking a step further, it is your responsibility to elevate your teammates’ performances and make them better.
Being a leader is never an in-born trait. It is earned and cultivated through years of dedication to whatever craft you decide to master on.
A worthy leader is one who grabs a bull by the horns. There are no shortcuts in a leadership role. You need to persevere and persist so that the goals you have set for the team can be met.
I know how you have often sacrificed individual glory for the greater glory of the team. For you, it has always been about winning a game within the bounds of sportsmanship.
How I have seen you in the past taking a game defeat so hard that you even cried.
“W” is what you only care for the team.
With the departure of the core of last year’s Panthers team, I agree with you that winning will be much more difficult this season.
The road ahead may be arduous and rocky but this is exactly where the challenge will come from.
Defy the odds. Fuel your energy with the excitement that the challenge offers.
Young dude, reach for the stars.
I know you can do it. Yes, the Panthers can. To God be all the glory.
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