There I was sitting with four completely different individuals, with different backgrounds, with different upbringings, with different experiences, with different skin colors. It felt like the first time I came to the States, like the first time in high school, like the first try out for varsity basketball. I felt different, I saw individuals with a sense of perfection, I saw individuals bounding towards each other, yet they were different to me, to my thinking, to my experiences, to what I wanted or had to say. I felt awkward just like my first day at high school basketball. I felt like I needed to work twice as much to prove them wrong, to shut them up, to get respect, to be the best at what I do. The very same way I felt when all I wanted was to play basketball.

When you are a minority, different, and not the same as everyone around you, work becomes a challange to do better, life in general becomes a challange to do your best. My grandmother one day told me, “Son, You work hard and respect will come alone”. I will never forget those words. Now, I’m confronting it again, and there is no way to stop. I will do it for me, I will do it for my grand mother. People will see that I believe in the American dream. When you work hard, the results are way far more satisfaying than sitting with four different individuals that think they are leaving me behind.

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