If the Dream is Big Enough

I used to watch her from my kitchen window, she seemed so small as she muscled her way through the crowd of boys on the playground. The school was across the street from our home and I would often watch the kids as they played during recess. A sea of children, and yet to me, she stood out from them all. I remember the first day I saw her playing basketball. I watched in wonder as she ran circles around the other kids. She managed to shoot jump shots just over their heads and into the net. The boys always tried to stop her but no one could. I began to notice her at other times, basketball in hand, playing alone. She would practice dribbling and shooting over and over again, sometimes until dark. One day I asked her why she practiced so much. She looked directly in my eyes and without a moment of hesitation she said, “I want to go to college. The only way I can go is if I get a scholarship. I like basketball. I decided that if I were good enough, I would get a scholarship. I am going to play college basketball. I want to be the best. My Daddy told me if the dream is big enough, the facts don’t count.” Then she smiled and ran towards the court to recap the routine I had seen over and over again. Well, I had to give it to her—she was determined. I watched her through those junior high years and into high school. Every week, she led her varsity team to victory.
我以前常常从厨房的窗户看到她穿梭于操场上的一群男孩子中间,她显得那么矮小。学校在我家的街对面,我可以经常看到孩子们在下课时间打球。尽管有一大群的孩子,但我觉得她跟其他的孩子截然不同。我记得第一天看到她打篮球的情景。看着她在其他孩子旁边兜来转去,我感到十分惊奇。她总是尽力地跳起投篮,球恰好越过那些孩子的头顶飞入篮筐。那些男孩总是拼命地阻止她,但没有人可以做得到。我开始注意到她有时候一个人打球。她一遍遍地练习运球和投篮,有时直到天黑。有一天我问她为什么这么刻苦地练习。她直视着我的眼睛,不加思索地说:“我想上大学。只有获得奖学金我才能上大学。我喜欢打篮球, 我想只要我打得好,我就能获得奖学金。我要到大学去打篮球。我想成为最棒的球员。我爸爸告诉我说,心中有目标,风雨不折腰。”说完她笑了笑,跑向篮球场,又开始我之前见过的一遍又一遍的练习。 嘿,我服了她了——她是下定了决心了。我看着她这些年从初中升到高中。每个星期,她带领的学校篮球代表队都能够获胜。

One day in her senior year, I saw her sitting in the grass, head cradled in her arms. I walked across the street and sat down in the cool grass beside her. Quietly I asked what was wrong. “Oh, nothing,” came a soft reply. “I am just too short.” The coach told her that at 5’5” she would probably never get to play for a top ranked team— much less 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 lifted her head from her hands and told me that her father said those coaches were wrong. They just 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. She was indeed offered a scholarship, a full ride, to a Division 1, NCAA women’s basketball team. She was going to get the college education that she had dreamed of and worked toward for all those years.

It’s true: If the dream is big enough, the facts don’t count.