“I Believe.” The meaning of these two words are the foundation upon which the White Oak basketball program is built. However, unless this meaning is transferred to the players who make up this program then “I Believe” is just two words. For those who say these two words with true conviction, not only will we have a successful basketball program but you will have a strong foundation upon which to base the rest of your life.
“I Believe” consists of three phases. The first and most significant is understanding that God created all of us for a specific purpose and He blesses each of us with certain gifts/talents in order for us to have a positive impact on the lives of others. Some talents are very noticeable and stand out without mentioning while others may be more subtle in nature. However, each gift is important and vital to the purpose that He has for our lives. The gifts and talents that we are given are God’s gift to us. We have done nothing to earn them….they are simply a gift. What we choose to do with our talent is our gift back to him. There are many people that can only dream of being able to play basketball. We should thank God everyday for allowing us to participate in such a great game.
Secondly, “I Believe” means believing in yourself and not allowing others to put limitations on the things you can accomplish. Only you are to blame if you allow circumstances or other people to keep you from achieving your goals. One of the greatest values of athletics is the opportunity to overcome adversity. Obstacles in the path of the weak are merely stepping stones in the path of the strong. This approach to life can only be achieved when an athlete learns to defeat his toughest opponent….himself! Many players have heard coaches say, “Come on, you can do it!” but you must believe this within your own heart or you will always settle for mediocrity. Before bigger battles can be won, an athlete must learn not to hold himself back. The only way this confidence can be obtained is to put in the hours of training that it takes to be a champion. There are no shortcuts and the road to success can be rough. However, for the one’s who stay the course and don’t give up – the reward is priceless.
The final meaning of “I Believe” is believing in the value of teamwork. Championships are not necessarily won by the best players but by the best team. We call this playing like a FIST – Five Individuals Succeeding Together – or simply, Five As One. Each player on the team has a role to play and the level of success that the team achieves is usually directly proportional to the respect that the players have for each other’s role – whether that role is scorer, rebounder, defensive stopper, ball handler, passer, screener, or last man off the bench. They all are important and failure to acknowledge the importance of each role can destroy a team. There is only one name on the jersey – WHITE OAK – and that is the only one that counts until the last buzzer sounds. However, once a player’s name goes on The Wall – he will always be a part of the White Oak Basketball family.
The Success of the White Oak basketball program will depend more on “I Believe” than any offense or defense. When you say it, say it as much with your heart as you do your voice.