Ronald called my dad one night when I was in the fourth grade. He coached an "Indian co-ed" basketball team and asked me to be a "Little Paw. I had never played organized basketball, and I had no idea what to expect of my new coach. I first met Ronald at the Yerington Tribal Gym; I was immediately intimidated by him. He must have weighed over three hundred pounds, wore thick-framed glasses, a Lakers jersey, a Lakers hat, Converse shoes, and towered over me. But within weeks I fell in love. He treated me as if I was one of his many nieces or nephews that played on the team. I was not the best basketball player, but never the less he would take extra time after practice to show me the fundamentals of dribbling, passing, defense, and shooting. Throughout my "training" when I would get so frustrated with myself, because I was not able to make the lay-up or the ball would bounce off my toe, but Do would never get frustrated with me. He would continually pump me up telling me that to be a "baller," takes a lot of hard work. Soon, we were on a first name basis, but I didn't call him Ronald, Ron, or even Ronnie; I called him what my dad and my teammates called him, "Do." Now, Do might sound like a strange name to you, but over our nine-year relationship, Do has done more than any coach, for that matter he has done more than any other friend has.
Over the years, Do has instilled confidence in me. From my first game in the tribal gym, I realize how special Do was. As I hesitantly dribbled onto the court to warm up, Do pulled me off the side and said, " Steph, over the past two weeks you have worked harder than any of the other kids at practice, and believe it or not, you have greatly improved. Basketball is a sport that as long as you play hard and run fast, the rest will happen naturally." Once the game started I calmed down and played to my best. I did have a few problems, catching, dribbling, and traveling but, Do would be the first one to yell " Shake it off Steph and try again next time.