28000 eyes on me

So today I had an opportunity to shoot infront of 14,000 people at the halftime of UVA’s basketball game against FSU.  The three finalists, including myself, were chosen from a group shooters that shot in the preliminary round last week.  Out of 118 shooters who participated, I was tied for first place with 19.

I was so excited about this opportunity because 1. i love basketball, and 2. just the chance to show 14000 people what I can do is awesome. Oh yea, and not to forget the fact that the 1st place prize was $500, 2nd place – ipod nano, and 3rd place  – $50.

After watching what seemed like the longest half of a college basketball ever, I stepped down towards the tunnel next to the court.  Crazy because I’ve never been that low in an arena before.  The dance team went up, then the UVA sports teams went up, and then it was game time.

I stepped out to the court and I was kind of blinded by the enormity of the crowd out there.  How do athletes do it man… Even so, I tried to maintain composure and just do what I do best… to shoot the ball.

First guy went up, dropped 17, which was pretty darn impressive.

I was next, and the rest was disaster.  I missed the first couple and then my legs stiffened up, the basket seemed to be as small as a golf hole, and the ball felt like a 45lb dumbbell.

The third guy went up and I didn’t even care because I totally choked.  I was so amazed at how badly I just shot the ball.  I didn’t even look up to see my score because I was too embarrassed to face the reality.

I won my 50 bucks, an IM Champ shirt, and got some Raising Cane’s, but even that couldn’t console my disappointment.  I kept telling myself words of comfort but the rest of the night was just a blur.

I’m sitting here in my room and it’s tough, but I think I’m starting to get over it.  Because the experience was worth it, 3rd place in the whole school’s not so bad , and there’s always next year.

But still, I’m amazed at how low I came out of tonight.  Amazed at how excited I was for the event.  I realized it just shows where I’ve been placing my identity in.  All my strivings for self value, self worth, to prove others that I’m worth something.  I always thought I had a good sense of who I am but today shined a different light to me.  I thought about the QT i had recently, where Paul talks about how everything is loss compared to the glory of Christ that is revealed in His life, and how he considers all gain as rubbish so that he may gain Christ and be found in Him.

A lot of good came out today too.  Some of my dear friends came out to the game and supported me.  Shoutout to Chiliu who even paid to come to the game, D.A., who i thought was kidding when he said he’d print out large printouts of my face…  Oh yea, and there was a kid who came up to me after the game and told me “good job” and gave me a high five…. gotta love the kids…

I learned somewhere that one of the most important things to do in sports or in life is to have a short memory of your mistakes and failures. Not saying that you should forget about all of them and never learn anything from your past, but to not let the shortcomings bring you down in your future opportunities.

and how could i forget that?!? that’s probably the most important thing to do in a 3 point shoot out.  Everyone misses shots, but that’s why you pick up that next ball and let it fly, you know?  you missed the shot, but there’s that money ball waiting for you.   Anyways.  A lesson learned indeed.  Thank you everyone who showed even the smallest bit of interest in what i love, and for you all who cared to read what i learned.  peace.

blurry but yea