I wrote this for my school newspaper that was published last week, enjoy my deep personal narrative...
We all have obsessions. Some obsessions are healthy like eating your fruits and vegetables, while some obsessions are unhealthy like eating junk food. I don't know where exactly to place my obsession with Ryan Appleby within that spectrum. However, I do get a persistent disturbing preoccupation whenever the topic of Ryan Appleby comes up.
First off, the question of "Who is Ryan Appleby" needs to be answered. To some, he is a former Washington Husky basketball stand-out with funny hair and a wicked jump shot. To me, he is one of the greatest basketball players to ever walk the earth. I try hard not to underestimate his abilities, but watching him play is like hearing Mariah Carey hit her high "C".
The way he plays the game of basketball is just so beautiful. I truly lost my "basketball innocence" after witnessing him on the hardwood. But this feeling after watching him play started to bother me.
I did not know what do with it.
Every time I picked up the basketball I started to play exactly like Ryan Appleby. For better or for worse my teammates noticed the difference in me. They saw me turn into a 3-point shooting maniac who would solely concentrate on hitting that long-range shot. I just couldn't help myself. If Ryan Appleby could hit a record nine 3-pointers in one game, why couldn't I?
I got really good at shooting long range shots. But as time went on, my other basketball skills including my dribbling and passing skills deteriorated. Even my friends saw the change in me and as a result they started to criticize Ryan Appleby.
They saw him as an un-athletic ball hog that couldn't play defense and help his team win games. Was I an un-athletic ball hog? I just brushed off those negative comments and I soon became a 3-point specialist.
No one could stop me.
But when Ryan Appleby graduated last year, my whole perspective changed. This is where things started to go downhill. I could no longer be like Ryan Appleby. I had to face reality and realize what kind of player I had transformed into. All good things must come to an end and my unhealthy obsession with Ryan Appleby started to wane.
After months of contemplation, I have come to terms with my obsession of Ryan Appleby. You see, Ryan Appleby played the game of basketball with so much passion. He wasn't the most athletic player on the court most times, but he compensated with a deadly 3-point shot.
He must have worked tirelessly for that shot, but as a reward he became one of the most celebrated shooters in Husky basketball history. That is an accomplishment.
After graduating last year, Appleby was drafted by the Idaho Stampede, a competitive national basketball developmental-league team. But Ryan Appleby decided to forgo his chance with the Stampede citing the loss of passion that comes along with playing pro sports.
He now teaches basketball at Emerald Basketball City Academy where he is passing on his passion of basketball to future youth. He is doing what he loves for a living.
Now that's a healthy obsession to have, isn't it?