Dunk Dreams

Not only is going to a basketball game fun for the whole family, it helps support a player’s dream. There are kids all across Canada that may not identify with the Canadian hockey image and prefer basketball. They may have a particular interest or talent for it. They may have come from a rough childhood and basketball might have been the only thing there for them growing up. Most of the basketball players I know are in love with the sport and it comes first before anything else to them. They give it everything.

When I go to basketball games, even though they may not be NBA games, I can still see how seriously the men take the sport. It shows how much it means to them and how much they enjoy it. In a way, I am jealous of them because for the life of me, I can’t find anything that I am that passionate about. In my mind, there is nothing better that you can do for someone than support their dreams. In a country focused on hockey and lacrosse, basketball is harder to get recognition for, so the players on any Canadian team need even more support.

My friend, whose game I went to for the first time, revolves his life around basketball. He has moved to many countries around the world for years at a time just to play. If I had something that I was that passionate about, I would definitely want the support from my community and even the whole country behind me. Just like we all have things that help us get through rough times, basketball might be that one thing for some young people. For this reason, I believe it should be fully supported by every community and positively encouraged.

Going to games, cheering your child on, buying them their first basketball, taking them to practice can all be ways to support the sport. Even if you are just looking for something to do on a Friday night, there are always games going on in high schools, universities, indoor gyms and courts or pick-up games on the streets in every city. To support a basketball player is to support a son, daughter, grandchild, brother, sister, father or mother with a dream. 

Tanya Shukalova is a 22 year old, Professional Writing student at Algonquin College. She aspires to be a sports journalist or to work for the government. She would like to write for a basketball team in the NBA and is also interested in photographing the games. 

Websites I follow: Canada Basketball | NBL Canada | Toronto Raptors

For the Love of Basketball

Although I don’t have many hobbies, one thing I love to do in my spare time is go to basketball games. I have been watching basketball on TV for many years and have always had an interest in it but only started going to games about a year ago.

I was surprised, the first time I walked into a big, indoor court in Brampton, Ontario, at the excitement of it all. The moment that I walked in, I saw the NBL (National Basketball League) players focused in the game, with a huge crowd filling the seats and cheering loudly. I knew a player on the team, and when he invited me to one of his games, I was expecting some old high-school gymnasium. Canada doesn't have many places built for an indoor basketball court so most games here are played in high school gyms. So I was shocked that I actually had a hard time finding a seat to watch the game. I thought it would be just the parents of the players who would be attending the game but since most of the players weren't from Canada, none of their parents were either.

People of all ages and cultures were around me, watching the men run around on the court, doing what they love. Little kids stood on their seats to get a better view, holding up signs with players’ names on them. There were cheerleaders on the sidelines, waiting to show off their choreographed dance numbers, and even reporters sitting court side waiting to talk to the players. During half-time, contests were held for kids to shoot baskets and win a signed jersey, and when the game was over, they announced the winner of a cash draw.

Before I went to the game, I always figured basketball game tickets were just sold to friends and family of players but when I went to one myself, I felt like I was part of a small community. We were gathered together to cheer and support our teams and none of us knew one another. It was freezing out on that November evening, but inside, the warmth could be felt during the game and after. There was an autograph session after the game and a chance for pictures with players, even though they weren't that well known. It’s the experience and excitement that people go for. 

Tanya Shukalova is a 22-year-old Professional Writing student at Algonquin College. She aspires to be a sports journalist or to work for the government. She would like to write for a basketball team in the NBA and is also interested in photographing the games. 

Websites I follow: Canada Basketball | NBL Canada | Toronto Raptors