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If the Dream is Big Enough

If the Dream is Big EnoughI used to watch her from mykitchenwindow, she seemed so small as she 1)muscled her way throughthecrowd of boys on the playground. The school was across thestreetfrom our home and I would often watch the kids as theyplayedduring recess. A sea of children, and yet to me, she stoodout fromthem all.I remr the first day I saw her playing basketball.Iwatched in wonder as she ran circles around the other kids.Shemanaged to shoot jump shots just over their heads and into thenet.The boys always tried to stop her but no one could.I begantonotice her at other times, basketball in hand, playing alone.Shewould practice 2)dribbling and shooting over and overagain,sometimes until dark. One day I asked her why she practicedsomuch. She looked directly in my eyes and without a momentofhesitation she said, “I want to go to college. The only way Icango is if I get a scholarship. I like basketball. I decided thatifI were good enough, I would get a scholarship. I am going toplaycollege basketball. I want to be the best. My Daddy told me ifthedream is big enough, the facts don’t count.” Then she smiledandran towards the court to 3)recap the routine I had seen overandover again.Well, I had to give it to her—she was determined.Iwatched her through those junior high years and into highschool.Every week, she led her 4)varsity team to victory.One day inhersenior year, I saw her sitting in the grass, head cradled inherarms. I walked across the street and sat down in the coolgrassbeside her. Quietly I asked what was wrong. “Oh, nothing,”came asoft reply. “I am just too short.” The coach told her that at5’5”she would probably never get to play for a top ranked team—muchless offered a scholarship—so she should stop dreamingaboutcollege.She was heartbroken and I felt my own throat tightenas Isensed her disappointment. I asked her if she had talked to herdadabout it yet.She lifted her head from her hands and told methather father said those coaches were wrong. They just didnotunderstand the power of a dream. He told her that if shereallywanted to play for a good college, if she truly wantedascholarship, that nothing could stop her except one thing — herownattitude. He told her again, “If the dream is big enough, thefactsdon’t count.”The next year, as she and her team went totheNorthern California Championship game, she was seen by acollege5)recruiter. She was indeed offered a scholarship, a fullride, toa Division I, 6)NCAA women’s basketball team. She was goingto getthe college education that she had dreamed of and workedtoward forall those years.It’s true: If the dream is big enough,the factsdon’t count.
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