This week, NBA All-Star Dana Barros ’85 stopped by the 2011 Xaverian Brothers High School Youth Basketball Clinic. His visit included tips, drills, and a few great stories. One of the best stories told took place during during a preseason game before the 1989-1990 season.
The sellout crowd had come to watch the Chicago Bulls take on the Seattle Supersonics. Barros, just 22 years old, was put in the game and soon had caught a pass beyond the 3 point arc. As he turned to face the basket, he found himself being covered by the best basketball player in the world: Michael Jordan.
After overcoming an initial moment of shock, Dana Barros decided that he could get by Jordan. With a quick fake, Dana Barros sped past Jordan and leapt towards the basket to finish with a layup. Jordan had other plans, however, and cleanly swatted the ball out of Dana’s outstretched hand.
The moral of the story is not that Dana Barros should have dunked the ball instead of trying the layup (although that might have helped). It’s simply that Dana Barros wasn’t afraid. The reason he wasn’t afraid, as Dana explains in the video, is because he was ready. All those hours of practice on an outdoor court in Mattapan made him ready. All those drills in the Xaverian gym gave him confidence. All those games at BC’s Conte Forum prepared him to take on the best in the world.
Whether we’re talking about basketball, football, or that Chemistry test on Monday morning, the key to success is being ready. If you put in the time, effort, and energy, there is no reason to be afraid. You’ll be ready.