Updated: Oct 19, 2021
The piece was written by Jamal Clay, a frequent contributor of Globally Ballin and founder of "Athlete's Forum"
(photos by: Chantel Charles @Mistresscap Instagram)
Dear Basketball, we met about 14 years ago and the only thing besides the Corona Virus that has stopped me from getting on a court for this long has only been injuries. There have been ups and downs, times when I’ve wanted to quit, a whole lot of tears, blood, concussions, broken bones, and hospital trips the list can go on and on. Either way, it will never compare to the friendships made, the entertaining bus rides, the traveling to new places, the experiences, the cultures, the wins, and the championships. I wouldn’t trade any of the bad if I had to give up all the good that has come from you.
We’ve been able to create a lot of memorable moments so far for which I am grateful and truly thankful. Amongst the top of the tier was when the opportunity to accept a full scholarship to attend the University of Maine was presented. Playing basketball in Orono to then go on and become a regular-season champion, is a feeling I will never forget. Climbing that ladder and cutting a piece of that net is something you can’t put into words. I have that picture framed in my living room and now just being able to say I’m a professional athlete is something I hold dear to me. The relationship we have offers unique opportunities, being selected to represent Great Britain is beyond what I would have expected as a kid. I sat and watched them play on the tv last summer and this season I got to kit up on the jersey. It’s a different type of feeling to represent your country and because of you, I had the opportunity to do that.
This past season came with mixed emotions, I love my team and I’m happy on how we showed we belonged in the league, but this season was not how I expected personally, we had got a promotion from last season and I re-signed with the same team in Tenerife (Spanish league). We played in a tougher league and had some difficulties which were fine because I wanted to continue to grow as a player and take on the new challenges that basketball had to offer. I know I could have done better but that’s how life goes, we must take the good with the bad and keep it moving. What I will take from it is I need to be more aggressive and consistent going forward.
Now I sit here reflecting on the game and when people tell you don’t take the game for granted and every time you step on the court play it like it’s your last time. I wish I did because I sit here with regrets knowing I have more to give if I couldn’t suit up again and I hope that I can when I get the next chance.
I miss you Sincerely yours Chantel Charles
P.s Do what you love and love what you do. “ imagine what a terrible thing it must be to wake up one day and realized you didn’t do all the things you wanted when you had the chance” ~ f.e Marie ~
This piece was written by Jamal Clay, a frequent contributor of Globally Ballin and the founder of "The Athletes Forum"