Grenfell is a sophomore public relations and management double major and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best part of basketball season is simply the home court advantage. The thrill of playing in front of thousands of people is incredible.
I must say that the Knapp Center holds some of the most loyal fans around. Win, lose, rain or shine, we can always count on our sixth man. This past Sunday, we had one of our biggest crowds of the year. Although we came up short, the annual Hoops for Hope game is when we as players can’t help but be inspired.
There are millions of people who battle cancer daily, and hundreds of them were seated in our very own Knapp Center. Whether it’s breast cancer, brain cancer or lung cancer, the common denominator is certain. They survived, and some even more than once. If we as athletes think we have it tough, just imagine what it’s like knowing you may be on the brink of death. If I could describe the word fight, that is how I would describe it. Overcoming a disease so strong that a majority of people cannot beat. Now that is what I call fight.
So can you see why a game like this would resonate with my teammates and me? It truly is something special, whether you know a cancer survivor personally or not. And, of course, being decked out in pink adds to the excitement. But to step foot on the court and not be reminded of what we were playing for that day was nearly impossible. The meaning behind Hoops for Hope is certainly prevalent to the game of life. I don’t know what better way to say it than this: To put up a fight is one powerful impulse of humanity.
Every day is a battle — for some a much larger battle than others. For people with the sickness, it’s undergoing the necessary treatment. For people with family in the military, it’s adjusting to life without them. For people with disabilities, it’s all about finding a way. What about the rest of us? And by the rest of us, I mean those that don’t necessarily have constant struggles. We battle in ways pertaining to the things we care most about. The things we have a passion for. In the eyes of a collegiate athlete, our battle is attempting to be the best we can possibly be for the goodness of a team and a program.
When it comes to college sports, I don’t believe an athlete is entitled to anything. An athlete earns what he or she receives. Someone with cancer is rather similar. Cancer doesn’t just magically disappear — every ounce of fight given is what makes each fighter deserving of his or her survivor status. Here’s the bottom line: Fight is what separates death from survival and a loser from a champion. Latch on to that persistence and run with it.