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How Basketball Changed My Life

            I first held a kid-sized basketball at the age of four. Since then, I grew up playing outside with my mini basketball hoop, captivated by the freedom to experiment with different moves and the thrill of making a perfect shot. My basketball was practically glued to my hand wherever I went; I even played with it in my dreams. Whenever I stepped onto the basketball court, the world around me faded as if I had entered into a realm of fantasy. .
             Though I outgrew my first basketball, my love for this sport only increased as I pursued it in high school. At first, I struggled to keep up with the better athletes; instead of feeling intimidated, however, I committed myself to improving my skills. When my friends went home after school or played computer games, I was on the court conditioning my body and practicing my shooting. I was driven by my ambition to excel in the sport I truly loved. In the end, my commitment proved worthwhile as I became the point guard for the team. My teammates also helped me to gain more confidence in myself; after only a few months, we became a family, enduring victories and losses together. Cheering for each other when a teammate made a great pass, screaming together after I made a winning shot, or lending a hand after someone was knocked down - all of these experiences enhanced my passion for basketball. This activity became more than a game; the sweat, tears, and even blood I left on the court built my appreciation for self-discipline and teamwork, and I have carried this athlete's mindset with me off the court as well. .
             I persevered like an athlete to develop my English language skills. A good sports player can try and fail, but he should never fail to try. Thus, I embraced this spirit and worked hard to cultivate my English skills, though there were many times I embarrassed myself. I often went to school before classes to practice speaking with my teacher. On weekends I would wake up early to go to the park and speak aloud.

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