After sacrificing the opportunity to grow up in my hometown, I felt compelled to write about this important: SACRIFICE.

So let’s begin…

I have asked almost all my students this provocative question: What are you willing to SACRIFICE to become the BEST version of you? In the article, The Rocky Road to Excellence, it encourages us, as adults, to stop asking our younger generation what they want to be when they grow up. Instead, we should ask, “What are you willing to sacrifice to obtain your dreams?”


I am very familiar with this level of sacrifice since I sacrificed growing up with my family to be where I am today. As a result of my sacrifice, I have obtained a college degree and played eight years professionally, With the right amount of sacrifice, I have found greatness to be more achievable. My students must risk being uncomfortable to achieve greatness. They must forgo their safety net and go all in if they are truly passionate about pursuing their dream of becoming a skilled basketball player.

Here are some examples of sacrifices EMA challenges our students to make:

  • Be willing to get up and train before school, to arrive early, and stay after training/practices.
  • Do more than everyone else, usually when nobody’s watching.
  • Choosing to develop during the summer versus going on an extended vacation.
  • Developing SKILLS IS FUN

Additionally, students might have to leave their friends and play on a different team that provides a better environment. The problem, these days, is that aspiring basketball players would rather have fun playing AAU instead of developing their skill sets. It is always fun to compete in games, but it’s also fun working on crafting your skills is a challenging and tedious environment. What they fail to comprehend is that the result of developing their skills, both on and off the court, inevitably causes them to have even more fun because they become better and more skilled players, which translates into experiencing more success in games

It’s a TREND!

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. Well, every spring and summer, aspiring basketball students look to AAU for their development and come back the same or worse each new school year. Why is it that the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, and many other credible sources all agree, that AAU has had an adverse impact on the skill level and the fundamentals of the game? AAU has become somewhat of a trend. Some people wonder why Stephen Curry didn’t play much AAU basketball. It’s because most of the environments surrounding AAU are very toxic, and many, including Dell Curry (Steph’s dad), knew this. Think about it. How many AAU coaches or trainers are qualified role models? I remember when coaches used to be the type of person young players aspired to be. Coaches used to teach life lessons and have tremendous respect and command of the kids. I believe children should be walking away from each basketball experience with lessons encompassing perseverance, respect for teammates, parents, community, and SACRIFICE.

We LIVE it!

The beginning years of children’s lives are the most critical for their growth and development. This is why the EMA Team will SACRIFICE our time and energy to bring you an organization that encompasses this entire concept.


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