Written by: Zahir Daniels, MSPP Student-Athlete at KIPP Elementary School, 2020 Lace Up & Learn Up Summer Camper, 2020 PYB Learning Pods Student-Athlete. This article was written following the completion of the 2020 Lace Up & Learn Up Summer Camp Series.

I love sports. If I had to rank my top 3, it would be as follows: Soccer, Football, and Basketball, with of course basketball being #1. The other two are good, but they just don’t compare to basketball. The sport has been in my life for as long as I can remember. The sport has also allowed me to meet many new people, including coaches older than me and other kids my age. 

What’s the word I’m looking for? Basketball Fanatic. That is what I wanna call myself. That means I’m obsessed with basketball right? Yup, that’s me. My dad is the reason I’m a basketball fanatic anyway.

I was like 2 or 3. My dad had taken me to a park and he bought a basketball and started shooting around. He had stopped for a minute, so I ran over and grabbed the ball. I just started shooting around and trying to do all these tricks and dribbling moves. From then, we played it a lot. We played together at PYB. We played together whenever we could.

Basketball even made me famous. I’m famous. You can look it up.

I’m telling you! You have an instagram? Go on Instagram and search up the Sixth Man and scroll all the way down. You’ll see me on there with Alan Horowitz, The Sixth Man, and ALL the basketball players. I got pictures with him! I’m famous. More than 5,000 likes on a lot of them.

Ben Simmons. Joel Embiid. Matisse. Furk. JRich. Al Horford. Mike Scott. The ballers! And I’m not just talking 76ers players either. Zach LaVine. Boban. T.J. Seth Curry. I even met James Ennis, and then saw him later at the Cherry Hill Mall and he remembered me. Like, I’m famous bro! At camp, I also met John Starks, famous for “The Dunk” on the Chicago Bulls.


Basketball also helped me meet my favorite coaches. Coach Corey. Coach Kyle. Coach Kevin. Coach Jalil. I owe meeting you all to basketball. At PYB programming, you guys help me with anything. Even if it’s not on the court, you guys still help me with the academic modules no matter what. I owe a lot to you guys.

I have to thank basketball for helping me meet some of my favorite friends, like, Jaden, Jovani, Khalif, and Kyre. You guys helped me get through this hard summer at the PYB Lace Up & Learn Up Summer Camp Series, and are even with me at the PYB Learning Pods! It’s fun playing against you guys and just joking around. It makes the school day so much easier, especially when we have to learn on computers.

And this is all because of basketball. I’m a Basketball Fanatic. If I had to choose one thing to get better at, it would be basketball. But you know what makes me happy? Even though my dad is not here, he’s still proud of me. He started my love for basketball, and he’s watching me continue it.

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