Like heights? Getting above the rim? That’s high. Like to get
above the rim in Madison Square Garden, with the lights
on you, fans cheering, and TV cameras showing your high-ness to the
world — all
while your college expenses are covered by a scholarship?
get much higher.
Come back to earth now, as every leap must. That height you crave
comes with a price, a price in which money is just one factor. What
are the others? This equation is complex. Let’s call talent
the checkbook; you’ve got to have it to make your payments,
but the more you want to do with it, the more you’ll have to
put in. It’s that simple.
Sweat, sweat is the currency for deposit. You will pay in sweat
over time, day in and day out, and we mean the time of years. This
is no short-term exertion. This is hitting-the-weight-room-at-six-A.M.-six-days-a-week
sweat, running-miles-before-during-and-after-drills sweat, and then
hitting the schoolbooks after you’ve sweated everything out
in practice while your friends are kicking back in a lounge somewhere — because
if you don’t sweat those grades, you are off the team.
And while we are on the subject of learning, there is the sweat
to learn the game. At this level it is a mental game,
so much more than dribble-pass-or-shoot that entire books
are written on the subject.
So your sweat will also go to the study, practice, and
perfection of your skills. And then once you think those
skills are higher than
ever, you discover your opponents’ skills are just a little
... higher. On the court, in public, in front of your
friends, your parents, maybe your significant other.
You may sweat just trying
to make it out of the locker room after a loss like that.
If it sounds like more than talent and sweat are required, you’re
catching on. This is where we enter the realm of the intangible.
Some call it heart, some call it love. That whatever-it-is that gets
you back in the gym when everyone else has gone home and your legs
are still sore to work on your free throws, your three-pointers,
your whatever-it-takes. Because you know your competition is.
If you still think you have what it takes to make it
in college or even professional basketball, take
our quiz. It will
to some of the challenges and temptations that players
confront at the college level. Our quiz also includes links to
It won’t tell you everything, but it can point you in the right
direction. Because among all the other things required for taking
your game as far as it can go there is also this: Planning. After
all, nobody wants to waste sweat.
Basketball Star Sheryl Swoopes Talks About Life in the Pros
Swoopes has been playing professional women’s basketball since
1997 with the Houston Comets and now, the Houston Stealth.
In this footage filmed while making this is a game ladies, she discusses
coaches, competition and making the switch from college to the pros.
Sheryl Swoopes introduces herself
Swoopes talks about adjusting to the pros
Swoopes compares college and professional coaches
Swoopes tells players what they should be ready for