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Bulldogs experience championship game, compete for NCAA slot

Column by Carly GrenfellCarly Grenfell-w800-h800

“We don’t necessarily get everything we want, but we get something.” This quote has stuck with me since the day I read it. And it just so happens to align perfectly with the course of events over the last few weeks.

If you did not hear, we upset Indiana State in the conference tournament and played Wichita State in the championship.

Unfortunately, the outcome was not what we had hoped. You can’t help but ache for the seniors whose seasons have at last come to a close. But playing for a championship is one of the coolest experiences in college athletics.

It is my hope that they remember these times the most when they look back on their college careers.

It is not the end of their journeys, just a new beginning.

We did not get everything we wanted that weekend. But we did get something. We got the chance to compete for an NCAA berth, the chances to represent Drake University and the chance to play a game we love with people we love.

We got the chance to fail, to succeed and to get better. We got to live another day after arguably the biggest upset of the tournament.

I would argue, that even with a championship under our belts, not even that would be everything.

Basketball and winning are such a small part of a bigger, more beautiful, confusing, frustrating and precious world.

I can speak on behalf of our entire program when I say we love basketball through the thick and thin. We love each other at our best and at our worst. And we love to compete even when it gets tough.

But what many college basketball fans often overlook, generally speaking, is that we as players and coaches are human. And that while basketball undeniably consumes our everyday lives, it is only one piece in a giant jigsaw puzzle we call life.

The older I get, the more I realize how hard it will be to hang it up — as I’m sure many athletes can relate. It seems I am running out of time to get everything I want out of my college basketball career. But the more I think about it, the less daunting the word “everything” seems to be.

Would I love to win a championship? Absolutely. Would I love to play in the NCAA tournament? No doubt about it.

But “everything” is so much bigger than that. I guarantee there are thousands of college athletes who have faced challenges, adversity and tragedy in their lives outside of athletics.

We’ve all heard unfathomable stories that leave us wondering why bad things happen to good people.

That’s when we take a step back and remember that life today, and the gifts we’ve been given, are not guaranteed tomorrow.

In the game of basketball, how do we define everything? Is it even possible?

I will leave that up to your own discretion. But in my opinion, the gift to play basketball is more than just the something I first mentioned. It is darn near close to everything.

Grenfell is a senior public relations and management double major and can be reached at carly.grenfell@drake.edu


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