Hello, my name is Jenada Sweeney, also known as “Loopy,” and I was born April 24, 2002. I started playing basketball when I was in the second grade at seven years old. My dad and I used to watch basketball all the time so I told him that I would like to start playing. The first team I started playing on was Windsor’s town league called W.I.B.L. By the time I was in the 4th grade, I was recruited to play on an AAU team. I played with them for two years. In the 6th grade, I felt as if I was sorting to drift away from basketball because of the death of my older brother. A few weeks before he past away he told me that he wanted to play me that upcoming summer because he never really got to see me play and wanted to see how good I was. I figured that it would have made him proud if I kept playing basketball and actually succeed in my dreams. In the 7th grade, I started playing for another team and that was the first time I started playing out of state. We went to New York and a lot of other places. I’m very thankful to be apart of this team. The bond that my teammates and I have gained over the past few weeks are incredible. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s are now my favorite days of the week, because I know that if I have a rough day in school I can always have something to look forward to later on at practice.
On this team, I am able to experience different environments and people. We have tournaments and gain discipline each day. The talks that my coaches give us before the games or practices encourages the entire team, especially me, to do better in the game and to have confidence in whatever we want to achieve. Personally, this team is helping me a lot, with not just my basketballs skills, but how I handle situations in everyday life. For example. If during a game I get frustrated, my coaches will spot it or a teammate will acknowledge that I’m not myself and give me advice on how to make myself better. In all honesty, I see this team as my second family now. These are the people that I feel I can trust and I can rely on during a game and in life. Specifically, I am very thankful for having the hard working coaches that I have. I may get upset when I am told something that I am doing wrong, but I am thankful that my coaches haven’t given up on me and that they continue to push challenges towards me so that I don’t give up on myself. Because of them, I take those challenges and I run with them.