I have been playing basketball for about 4 years, which in the sport is a relatively short time. I am very proud of what I have achieved already, for example one highlight was being selected for the Tall & Talented program for the 2016 Olympics. When I was told that I had been picked, out of the original 7500 people across Britain, with the ultimate aim of being in the GB Team, I just could not believe it! Nothing this big had ever happened to me, and as I am still relatively young, it was such a great opportunity to be able to realise my dreams. I am very dedicated and I would like to explore every possible opportunity that basketball has to offer so that hopefully I can have a career out of it one day. To this end I am currently studying at Henley College alongside their Basketball Academy programme. I love to meet and play and be able to make new friends, and also I would like to be able to try and have some sort of influence within basketball. Not only make it a far more popular sport in Britain, but also to hopefully play in the main leagues which are in Europe and America. I enjoy having high aims for myself and I also try and ask this of my teammates. I am very interested and enthusiastic in learning new skills which will then improve my current game.
When I am playing, I want to give the impression to the other players, coaches and parents that I really want this badly, to make them think 'Wow, he can really play and go far someday'. I think that when the coaches see someone really special in their club, or their team playing well, it makes them happy because they know that all their efforts in training have paid off. So in every game I play, I really try hard to show everyone around me and in the sports hall that I know the game and that when I come off the court I know that I have tried my absolute best.
I would like to know that when I am putting in the long hours of training, all that effort, that hopefully at the end of it all something big will happen to me. Then I can use these skills and knowledge, not only to help others in their game, but also to fulfill my dreams. The thought of winning a huge game in my career, and standing on a podium and winning a medal for my country, it really makes me think about where I could go in basketball and that I have a chance and intend to grasp it.
Basketball is not just about passing and throwing a ball through a hoop, it is about strong team work, excitement and enthusiasm when you play, dedication, discipline, attitude and competitiveness, and if a player or players have not got this, then they cannot expect to progress into the higher areas of the sport.
One of the highlights for me of last year was being asked to attend a IM Basketball and Sports Makers event at Southampton University with Drew Sullivan, the current GB Captain, and who will be the Captain for the Great British team at the 2012 London Olympics.
The winning of this grant would be for me another step to help me realise my dreams of emulating Drew and being the Captain of the GB Basketball team at the Olympics in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.