Almost Doesn’t Count


Michael Yero, Writer

Life has its ways of teaching us lessons – whether you like it or not.

During the course of my time at Immaculata La Salle, I’ve had a number of events, whether in the classroom, after school, or on the court that has all led to something new in my life that helps me see things from a new perspective.

That said, I’ve matured as a man through the wisdom I’ve heard through the likes of basketball. And though my time lacing up my rusty LeBron sneakers are over, I keep many memories with me for the rest of my life.

One of those: almost doesn’t count.

This saying wasn’t brought to my attention until what stands to be the most important and nerve-racking day of my life. It was the District Championship game against Miami Sunset, following two impressive victories for our squad over Gulliver Prep and Key West. Despite pulling through adversity after being ranked dead-last in the district – No. 6 – we united as a whole and made it into a stage that ILS hadn’t reached in nearly a decade.

The stage was set; a rowdy gym was awaiting us for a showdown of the ages. As expected the game was a thriller, going into an extra period, where things simply went the Knights’ way, pulling away a victory on the road.

To say the least, that day was extremely painful, having to see teammates and coaches cry and sit in silence after such a powerful run. To make things worse, it was the last attempt at capturing something like this for many of us, including myself. When the night was over, I sat in my bedroom thinking why this happened. Why couldn’t I have brought a district banner to ILS? Why couldn’t the fairytale ending take place?

The reality is, this event in my life introduced me to one of the most vital lessons in life. Almost is a phrase used by many in the world as an attempt to settle, which in the world of successful people, isn’t an option. I could sit here today and remain complacent about the surprising run my team had, or I can understand the opportunity I missed out on and make sure I do everything it takes to capitalize the day such a relevant event comes about.

As I now enter a new phase in my life –  Arizona State University – I hope to take that experience with me. Doing so keeps me motivated to strive for my goals, and keeps me in check when it comes to making my dreams a reality. My exit to playing the beautiful game of basketball wasn’t ideal, but gave me a lasting taste that’ll forever remain, and in the long run, be more valuable than that district title.

I can proudly acknowledge that I missed the final goal in my senior campaign by not winning what we had all hoped for. There’s no pity to that. I hope that feeling of almost doing it continues to be a reminder for the rest of my life.