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As a kid, I never fully appreciated the sacrifices you made for me. I just didn't always get it, you know? But today, I do.
Thanks to you, mom, I am who and where I am today. I've been able to play the sport I love and make some incredible relationships along the way. But, none of those relationships compare to the one I have with you.
I wanted to take a second here and thank you for everything you've done.
For working those late hours, supporting me in everything I do, and being my biggest role model.
Mom, this letter is for you. Without you, I wouldn't have made it here.
Ever since I was a little child, you knew I was in love with basketball. You saw me playing with my brothers and could tell it was something I was meant to do.
When I was 10, I think both of us realized that basketball might be more than just a sport. It was an opportunity.
And you did what you needed to do, so I could take advantage of this ‘opportunity'.
Back then, I didn't fully grasp all the things you sacrificed for me. All I saw was that you'd be gone all day.
Those 7-to-7 or 7-to-11 shifts were so long. I was too young to understand – all I asked myself was:
"Why does she have to work so much?"
I now know you were working, not for yourself, but for me & my brothers.
You wanted to provide us with everything we needed to succeed in life. For me, to succeed in basketball.
Equipment and shoes weren't cheap. The teams I played on cost money. You knew that if I wanted to continue my dream, you'd have to work non-stop to make it happen.
I can never repay you for all the time you dedicated.
Every move you made lead me to where I am today.
The one move that seemed the hardest was the one from Cincinnati to Dayton. As you know, that was a big change for both of us.
We had to technically start over, find new friends, build new relationships, and establish a new routine.
And yes, although I struggled a bit initially, it was the best move we ever made. Why? Well, because you met my stepdad.
When you met him, I was so happy for you. Up until that point, you just worked non-stop.
He gave you an opportunity to break that cycle, and to actually do something for yourself. And no one deserved that more than you.
But he has not just made a big impact on your life. He's made such a difference in mine as well.
As you know, losing dad when I was younger was really tough on me. He would always make me feel special. Even though we lived apart, he just knew how to lift my spirits on a down day.
And my stepdad helped fill that void. For that, I'll forever be grateful.
Soon after you two met, I also started to look at schools for college basketball, you remember?
Having you by my side through this whole process definitely helped with the decision.
There was one person that stood out to all of us – Coach Getter.
He was the most persistent and made me feel like I was his top priority. I think you saw that. You trusted him, and that meant a lot to me.
So, when Coach Getter went to Liberty, we both knew I was going to follow him. I'm glad you saw something in him as well. He's done so much for me as a basketball player and person.
Now, as my career is moving to a close, and I reflect on my time here at Liberty, there are a few more things I want you to know…
To this day, nothing makes me smile more than seeing you in the crowd at basketball games. I could miss 20 shots in a row, but when I see you, I'm at peace. In that moment, life is put into perspective.
I want to take a second to thank you for getting me here. I never would've gotten a look from college teams, let alone receive a scholarship, if you wouldn't have funded my dream right from the start. Your passion and hard work made all of this a reality. And I hope you know that.
I've had the opportunity to watch a team, maybe at one of its lowest points, grow to a team that not only made the NCAA Tournament, but won a game as well.
Your drive proved to me that you can do anything you set your mind to. I try to carry that with me in my last year here at Liberty.
Because of your support, I'm able to focus on my dream to compete and hopefully even lift a trophy.
I can't find a single word or expression that accurately describes the love, admiration, and gratitude I feel towards you.
So, this is my way of summarizing it all. Thank you, mom.
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