Friday, May 21, 2010

Diary Of A Baller: Jalen "Young One" Henriquez (New Jersey) Entry #21

Hello Basketball World,

This week we played in our own Gym Ratz Shootout at home. We had our 1st game was Friday night vs. the Bergen Blazers, a team we beat last year by 30 in the chip. So we went into this game, flat and thinking it was the same team, just like we have done in the past. We were up 14 at half. Then in the 2nd half we must have forgot how to play D. We gave up 3 uncontested 3's to them and just like that we were in a dogfight after having a convincing lead at the break. It ended with them beating us by 4. They also completely wanted that game a lot more then we did. Our 2nd game was vs. the SC Elite; they were a big and very deep team 15 strong and took an early jump on us by more then 12 points. We were trailing by I think 6 at the half. After half, we came out strong playing D. My shots were falling and I hit a couple of the 3's and had a big one with about 50 seconds in the game to put us up 1. After I hit that we got a good stop on D and they started to foul us, at this point I thought in my mind, the game was over. All we had to do was knock down our free throws and seal the deal, but we missed a few and lost by the skin of our teeth, 1. A few key plays had some players feeling as if they let us down. As our coach always says, we win as a team, lose as a team, through thick an thin we stay together and just work harder being Gym Ratz.

The last game was Saturday night at 9pm vs. the New York Magic for 3rd place. Being that this team was from New York and it was a late game they left home which shows no class. We did get that win but regardless, 3rd place in our own tournament is crazy, and has never, in all our years have we gone 8 weeks with out a chip. Even though we are not at all content with losing we as a team see it as the level of the teams that we play are all elite. We just have to work harder and something that a lot of teams have that we do not is bigs and grade exceptions, which hurts, but we will just keep working. I want to thank all the coaches, parents, friends and refs, anyone that has advice about what HS I should attend next year and maybe at times when you speak to me, before a game its not that I am not listening but I am just focus on the game. Especially after a loss I am just thinking about the next game, but I do thank you all for your advice. June 11, is when I graduate and I will say were I will be going high school next year, so till then I just want to enjoy my last couple of days of middle school. Come high school, things will surely be different, hopefully a good change will come. But no matter what the future holds for me I will continue working hard everyday to turn my dreams in realities.

“That's what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we've changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.” –Richard Bach …Young One Out