There’s an old adage that states, “It’s not the journey. It’s who you travel with.” I both agree and disagree with this statement. Here’s what I mean, in the form of poetry:

Basketball has played a pivotal role, contributing hard learned disciplines acquired through my involvement with the game to my character and who I’ve become over the years,

CHARACTER ENRICHMENT,

Basketball was there when I won my first state championship, and was front and center when we won it again the following year,

BACK-TO-BACK,

Basketball was behind-the-scenes when I publicly signed my letter of intent to attend Syracuse in front of the local newspaper,

GO ORANGE,

Basketball was there to hold my heart when I got the devastating news, staying up late to wipe my tears while I mourned the death of my father who lost his life to leukemia my sophomore year of college,

ORANGE RIBBON,

Basketball was there during three extremely painful surgeries and every painful rehab session I had to endure after tearing my ACL and meniscus the following year,

SETBACK,

Basketball was also there when the doctors finally cleared me to play after an extremely long year and a half of intense rehab,

COMEBACK KID,

Basketball bounced for joy when I graduated from Syracuse with a degree in biology,

EDUCATED,

Basketball was ecstatic when I continued on as a professional player, traveling with me when I played in Spain for six years, Portugal for one year, Poland for three more, the world championship games in Brazil, the South-American Championship Games in Chile, and finally to Israel to finalize my playing career,

DISMANTLED LIMITATIONS AND EXPECTATIONS,

So, you see basketball has shaped my journey, and been with me on my journey, making it very much about the journey and who I was fortunate to travel with.

Chinny Nwagbo on the bench with her teammates.

But GOD,

GOD was the one dribbling the ball and pushing me forward to believe in my dreams when no one believed in me,

ISAIAH 40:31

GOD was the one who kept that basketball inflated, the chains off the doors to the gym 24-hours a day,

PSALM 34:10

GOD was the one who MADE me adopt an indomitable will to trust in His timing, His decisions, His lead, His will for my life on and off the court,

LUKE 12:11-12

GOD was the one who turned losing my father into the hardest uphill battle I ever had to valiantly conqueror in the face of adversity,

ROMANS 8:28-29

GOD was the one that open doors when they all seemed to be bolted shut,

MATTHEW 7:7

GOD was the one who said YES despite of all the man-made no’s

ROMANS 8:31

It was GOD ALL ALONG, creating the journey,

It was GOD ALL ALONG, with me on the journey providing Himself in a tangible form through sport,

Creating, preparing & transforming the path,

Every peak and every valley,

Every game lost and every game won,

Every… single… step… of… the way… GOD WAS THERE!

I could not have done it if it were not for God!

-Chinny Nwagbo

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