by Dewayne Thomas (Senior)
My family came from the Bahamas when I was just a couple months old. My mother decided to come to America to get away from her mother. They never really had a strong relationship, let alone a relationship at all. A lot of my childhood was filled with anger and hate. A lot of sadness. There were rarely any happy moments. I was taken away from my mother five years later due to a miscommunication by my sister. I lived with my aunt for ten years, which I would describe as the worst period of my life. I was constantly blamed for things I had not done, beaten, worked like a slave, and was alone a lot. That really only made me stronger, I will always have that respect for her for taking care of me, however it was at an extreme cost to my well being. The check she was getting for us also helped in her favor. I was always athletic, always ran fast, always jumped high, always the first one to be done with push-ups. I found out that sports was something that I could find a release to. The few true friends I had at school were also athletic and played basketball. I had no idea how. They had the gift of just knowing. I would be the last one to get picked for their teams because I had no idea how to play. I had never been bad at anything before and it quite frankly made me extremely angry. So I worked and worked and worked. I found it therapeutic. I got away from my aunt, and I also found my work ethic. All at a young age. Hours and hours of training, sometimes seven to eight hours a day, testing and shooting and dribbling. I wanted to be the best. I just found a love for basketball. A lot of things in my life have been obtained because people told me I couldn’t. My father was always away, so I didn’t really have much of a childhood. I was trying to buy my own apartment at the age of 12. It may seem a little insane, but I just liked to fend for myself. I was always in competition with my sister, Myesha Thomas, who was also athletic, but amazing at school. Basketball is my backstory. It was my best friend. It is my best friend.
What drives me are people that are better at things than me. People who have more money, people who jump higher, people who shoot better, people who got better grades. I am driven by my failures and the words of Michael Jordan. He said, ” I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot, and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.” He was driven by the fact that he’s failed. I don’t like to lose, so I try hard every day to get better at everything, whether it be social interactions, basketball, ACT scores, even video games, I try my hardest to win at everything.
The obstacles that stand in my way are only my own ability to succeed, my will to win, and my drive and my nerves. Basically I alone stand in the way of myself. I try my hardest to stay in the gym, constantly working out and testing my body’s limits. I try hard not to really think about what stands in my way. I try harder to think about if something does happen, how am I going to get over it. The resolutions I have I have not met yet. I don’t think I ever will. But I made it far.