Ikigai Stories: Ball is Life with the LSGH Greenies

I met with the La Salle Greenhills NCAA basketball team again for the first time in two years. While there were some familiar faces, this was definitely not the team I remember working with pre-COVID. It was refreshing to see these young Lasallians even if it was through my computer screen.

The LSGH staff under coach Karl Santos has set-up a series of character formation sessions with the team. I was fortunate enough to be invited to talk to the team about life after basketball. Since I was working with high school students, our focus was mainly on their college course, how to maximize their athletic scholarships, and what life could be like after competitive sport.

It was a great experience for all of us, as we were able to share ideas on what life may be like for them if they’re able to become professional basketball players. We discussed the road to the pros, and what it takes to go down that road. As young student-athletes, it may be tough to see beyond the next few years. Their bodies are still spry, and the thought of not being able to run, jump, and shoot is not in the near future.

One realization that came up was that a lot of them did not have a clear idea of what they wanted to do after high school. While some had expressed a desire to go into business, engineering, or medicine, there were also those who didn’t really know what to do.

This was when I asked them what they liked doing. The answers I got were typical: sleep, eat, watch Netflix/YouTube, and play mobile games. Well, not everyone can become a mattress/food/TV show tester who just gives feedback on what they experience. The follow-up question is where we made some strides.

“So, what do you like about playing mobile games aside from the actual game?” I asked. “Coach, I like interacting with people and talking to people.” That was our first clue into what he could take up in college. We talked about doing some research on college courses that could allow him to interact with people on a constant basis. Maybe he could imagine work that involves group projects and completing objectives as a team. There are many possibilities if we look outside the box.

Ball is just a part of life. The rest is up to us. Animo!

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