If the Dream Is Big Enough
A school was across the street from our home and I would often watch the kids from my window as they played basketball. One day, among the children a girl attracted me. She seemed so small as she muscled her way through the crowd of boys. Running circles around the other kids, she managed to shoot jump shots just over their heads and into the net with on one to stop her. Sometimes, I saw her play alone. She would practice dribbling and shooting over and over again, until dark.
One day I asked her why she practiced so much. Without hesitation, she said, "I want to go to college. The only way I can go is if I get a scholarship. If I were good enough, I would get a scholarship. I like basketball. My Daddy told me if the dream is big enough, the facts don't count." Then she smiled and ran towards the court to go on practice.
I watched her through junior high and into high school. Every week, she led her varsity team to victory. One day in her senior year, I saw her sitting in the grass, head cradled in her arms. I went over there and sat down beside her. Quietly I asked her what was wrong. "Oh, nothing," She replied softly. "I am just too short." The coach told her that at 5'5"she would probably never get to play for a top ranked college team — much less be offered a scholarship — so she should stop dreaming about college.
She was heartbroken and I felt my own throat tighten as I sensed her disappointment. I asked her if she had talked to her dad about it yet. She told me that her father said those coaches were wrong. They did not understand the power of a dream. He told her that if she really wanted to play for a good college, if she truly wanted a scholarship, that nothing could stop her except one thing — her own attitude. He told her again, "If the dream is big enough, the facts don't count."
The next year, as she and her team went to the Northern California Championship game, she was seen by a college recruiter, and was offered a full scholarship, to a NCAA women's basketball team. She was going to college, which she had dreamed of and worked toward for all those years.
It's true: If the dream is big enough, the facts don't matter.
Permission to Fail
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