When I was 14 years old, my friend, his mom and I went to an Oklahoma City Thunder game. We were walking to our seats and suddenly a lady approached us. She asked my friend if he wanted to go on the court and play a game at the end of the first quarter and he said no. So then she turned and asked me if I would be interested in participating in the game and without hesitation I said, “Yes! ” Then, she further explained the game, letting me know that I would have to put on a jersey, a pair of shorts, and a pair of Ronald McDonald shoes.
Next, I would have to run to the end of the court, grab a basketball, dribble back to the other end of the court and make a lay-up before the other person did the same things that I had to do. So I accepted the challenge and then she told me how to get down to the court and to make sure that I was down there 5 minutes before the end of the first quarter. When the first quarter ended, two staff members escorted my opponent and myself to the court and introduced us to the crowd. One of them explained to the crowd what we were about to do.
I started to look around and I couldn’t believe how many people were in attendance and it felt like all eyes were on me. So then we went down to the starting point and he asked us if we were both ready and we both said yes. I was kind of nervous because I was on the right side of the goal, which meant I had to do a left handed lay-up coming back and I’m not very good doing lay-ups with my left hand. Next, the announcer started the count down from three and the next thing you know we have started the game.
I put on the really big jersey,the shorts and the shoes and I grabbed the basketball and the other guy was right behind me. I started to run faster but I was trying not to trip with those big shoes on. I made it to the end of the court and did a left handed lay-up and I missed it! Right when I missed it, the other guy did a right handed lay-up and made it and he won the game. It affected me a lot at that time because I don’t like losing. I was disappointed in myself for missing the shot and not getting to experience everyone clapping and cheering for me because I won the game.
I was embarrassed for missing in front of eighteen thousand people. That was the first time and possibly the only time I will have the chance to perform in front of that many people. It is a whole different perspective being on the court and looking up at the crowd than being in the crowd looking down at the court. When I went back to my seat, the lady sitting next to me told me to keep my head up and that there are a lot of people here that would have loved to do what I just got to do even if they didn’t win.
After that, I began to realize that I should be thankful for the chance that I got to do that because how many people can say that they have done that in their lifetime? Not that many. Even though I didn’t win and get a $50 McDonald’s gift card, I still got a $25 McDonald’s gift card, a McDonald’s basketball, and a McDonald’s backpack. So instead of denying my failures, I have learned to accept them and to work on them to become a better person.