Special thanks to Henry Petty, guest writer, for today’s blog post.
Last week we were at the Jack Stephens Center cheering on the UALR Lady Trojans in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Immediately, I noticed a 6’5” player from the opposing team, Delaware, who pretty much did everything you don’t expect a woman of her height in a basketball game to do: run the point, shoot the three, and score 40 points in one game. Her name is Elena Della Don, and she currently leads the NCAA women’s division with most points scored by a player.
Sitting back and watching the action on the court, I couldn’t help but envy her. I kept thinking to myself, “This girl has it made. Her life is so simple. 22 years old. Go to college, play awesome basketball on a full-ride scholarship, make truckloads of money in the WNBA in the future or maybe a coaching job, being in ads, Olympics, and probably be a doctor. The end.”
I know, it’s not good to sulk, but I was rationalizing and assuming a college athlete’s life was a fast-track to simplistic success compared to the constant uphill battle I find myself in on a daily basis just to achieve mediocre success inside a cubicle.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
From her Wikipedia page:
“Following an outstanding prep career during which she became the most highly touted women’s basketball recruit since Candace Parker, Delle Donne received a basketball scholarship from the University of Connecticut. However, in early June 2008 Delle Donne abruptly dropped out of Connecticut’s summer school program after just two days in Storrs. Delle Donne was very close to her family, especially her sister Lizzy, who has cerebral palsy, and is blind and deaf. She wasn’t ready to be separated from her family.
A week after leaving Connecticut, Delle Donne said by telephone from her home in Wilmington that she has “a lot of personal issues to fix. Only my family understands what’s going on. Right now I am going to take a long personal break.”
I personally have much more respect for her after reading this than I did when she single-handedly knocked off the UALR Trojans. In fact, it makes me feel almost like I’ve walked in her footsteps as I dealt with a similar situation growing up. Perhaps we’re kindred spirits, and there’s some advice I could pitch her way.
In turn, maybe she can help me with my hook shot.
For more from Henry, check out his blog.