Mothiba: It was love at first practice

Basketball is the gift that keeps giving

BASKETBALL has been there for me in so many different ways over the past 24 years (yes, that’s how old I am), and I am sure that it will be there for me until the end of time.

For me, basketball is that one thing that came into my life that I did not know that I needed until I got it. From my very first IPT’s, to Engen, Schweppes and Milo tournaments. To the Pietermaritzburg Girls High tournament, to the Top Schools tournament and to the opportunity of travelling my province and then my country, to the many friendships that are still there even today, I can safely say it has been an exhilarating and rewarding journey. It is unfathomable that I am still on this basketball journey that started in 1995. Many of my peers that started this journey with me have since hung up their sneakers and bowed out of the race, but our memories are forever.

It was “love at first practice” for me and believe it or not, my love for the game has grown in leaps and bounds. Ball has given me so, so much and continues being the gift that keeps on giving, basketball has given me lifetime lessons, lifetime friendships and a lifetime sense of community and belonging. Best of all, basketball has given me a lifetime marriage and in turn the blessing of being a basketball mom, sheesh, what an amazing journey it has been.

For Thabo Mothiba basketball is and will forever be life.

A lot of who I am is because of basketball, even when I stopped playing competitively, ball was so deep in me that I chose to evolve with it and wear the many different “seasonal” hats outside of “player”. As of today, this is who I am in basketball, I am a supporter and enthusiast, I am part of an amazing sporting community. I am a basketball manager when needed, a basketball coach when needed, a basketball administrator when needed. I am Chef de Mission when needed, a table official when needed, a motivational speaker and sports psychologist when needed. I can even administer first aid when needed. I sit on a basketball committee of a district; and I am part of the basketball school system. Above all else and equally important to me, I am a wife of a basketball player and a mother of a basketball player, and as for myself, I dabble here and there on the basketball court.

One of the biggest lessons basketball has taught me is that once you choose it, basketball chooses you back and then it becomes that one constant thing in your life that will never leave you, it will eventually be you who will decide to leave it. I really hope you never ever make that choice to leave basketball but rather that you be open to growing in it and evolve with it and allow it to take you places that you never dreamed of.

As we are dealing with this Covid-19 pandemic, basketball is once again saying, here is an opportunity for you to reflect on your basketball journey, here is an opportunity to align your basketball goals with your work ethic, here is an opportunity to work on yourself internally, here is an opportunity to up your skill level whilst in lockdown, here is an opportunity to read and be more knowledgeable about the game, here is an opportunity to reach out to those you would otherwise not have access to and ask for help or even encouragement. It is really up to you how you will spend this period in lock down but basketball is saying, I am here even in the midst of all that is happening, use me to get better and be better and that is why ball is and will forever be life.

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