I made friends from multiple countries and experienced a different style of basketball. I will remember this game forever

By: Ling Li, Summer Work Travel participant 2016

On Friday afternoons, my landlord and his friends play basketball. I was very excited to hear this because I enjoy playing sports very much, especially basketball. In fact, I play on a basketball team in China, my home country. My favorite basketball team is the San Antonio Spurs; I admire their positive attitude and excellent teamwork. When my landlord learned I played basketball, he immediately invited me to join their game!

While I play basketball at my university, this was my first time playing with men, so I was nervous and shy. We walked into the small indoor court and before me stood 14 people, some from the U.S., but many from abroad like me. When the group saw me they looked surprised, maybe because I am short and small.

Throughout the game, I ran fast and tried hard to intercept every ball, which surprised the other players. I appreciated their positive attitude, honesty, mutual encouragement, and enthusiasm for the game. Once the first quarter finished, all the players praised me for how well I played, and I was so happy that I didn’t let them down.

Through this experience, I realized people in China often play basketball alone, but Americans focus on teamwork when playing. I made friends from multiple countries and experienced a different style of basketball. I will remember this game forever.

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