Updated: Sep 28, 2021
I did not like my first college.
I did not like it at all.
I wanted to leave, and I knew exactly who to call.
You have to go through the bad to appreciate something good.
People: "Dang, you went to 3 different colleges?'
Me: "Yes, lol I hated my first school."
Me: "It just wasn't for me."
I usually leave it at that. I didn't hate my time at Iowa Lakes; I was dealing with a lot emotionally at the time. Being away from my unapologetic love, family, and surrounded by all females was a lot to digest. Estherville, Iowa, is the definition of a small town. It was smaller than downtown Milwaukee y'all. I was going crazy. I met some great people there (Shout to Dari/ Bear, Mula, Pookie, Tasha, Macy, Carl, Nije, Jay, Boggs, Greecie, my favorite white boy Jeff (RIP), and a few of the Puerto Ricans). As I stated, it was a business trip. I was not happy at all, but those I name and the people I came from Milwaukee with made things a lot better (Main Thang, Vonna, Lissa, and Nessa).
I almost left the school mid-season.
Strike 1: My coach implied that I would receive my high school jersey number, 20. It came time to pick out jerseys, and it was one of the sophomore's numbers as well. The sophomore captain said, "Seniority rules." I'm like, "Yeah, okay. She has to play me for it." I did end up winning. #TeamTaee #AlwaysTheBetterOption
She cried doe. Soooo y'all know I'm a sucka lbvs. I gave her the jersey. Her reason for wanting the jersey was deeper than mines, and I'm like, I proved my point, so I'll have a different number in college. I chose the number 10.
Strike 2: To be a basketball player, you have to condition, but we ran so much you would have thought we were a track team. Which was not good for us due to the fact as a team, we lacked skill. We spent more time running than sharpening our skills. I will say I did learn how to read screens and screen effectively.
Strike 3: My teammates were girls who played basketball and not hoopers. When I say girls who played basketball, they weren't on a business trip like I was. They were in the guy's faces. I was accustomed to winning and doing whatever it took to win. I would go to the guy's pick-up games to play to get better. I would go put up extra shots and stay after. I wanted to win badly, especially after winning a state championship in High school. In my first few games, I had double-doubles with points and rebounds.
Final Strike: Being from Milwaukee, we have a particular pride and swag about us. In the college basketball realm, we are taught to represent to the fullest. There were 5 of us on the team from Milwaukee (6, if you count Mula, but he wasn't involved in this story). We didn't go to the same school, but when you meet somebody from where you are from, it's just an unspoken thing to kind of look out for each other. We didn't click up right away, but we did all gravitate to each other. We understood each other on a different level. I don't even remember exactly what made us start repping our city so hard. I think it was after a game, and we realize we were the team. We tapped into that universal energy that told us that we are capable of more than we can even imagine. Us going to that school was our only opportunity to continue to play. We didn't have the exposure or the big looks. We had to get it out of the mud and start at the Juco level.
"The fight," the person closest to me from Milwaukee at the time had to beat up her roommate (she just punched the girl a few times). I say she had to because she put her hands on her. Why did my coach try to kick my friend off the team for defending herself? So they (the girls that weren't from Milwaukee) called Coach that night like we couldn't alleviate the situation. Like sis, keep yo hands to yourself. When Coach got to campus, we were all a little amped because it was late, and they wouldn't let my girl go to bed. One thing about us is once we get our lick back, we good just don't try me again.
Coach get there (she was red af. Fresh out of bed), yelling and mad she had to pull up. We're in my apartment chilling. I didn't know what happened 'til they knocked on the door to tell me. Coach comes to my room like you suppose to be a leader blahh blahh blahh. She was yelling, and I zone out when people start yelling. Everyone knows this, especially if we are not on the court. I wait 'til she finishes to tell her I was not present. She goes on and says, "I should be aware of what's going on amongst my teammate." That's when I got mad. I told her they are all grown women I'm not babysitting anybody. I got class in the morning. Are we done? I came here to hoop, not babysit grown women. Then she kicked one of the people who came from Milwaukee off the team and took her scholarship that didn't have anything to do with the fight off. She had it out for her for the longest. I was just over it at this point. I only played a few games. I was about to make calls to see if I could still go prep or transfer because this wasn't it. This was my last straw. It was late so I couldn't call my basketball fairly odd parent. I was pissed, so I called my older brother and told him to come to get me before I explode. Ion think I ever been that mad. I wasn't only angry for myself but for my friends. This opportunity was great but at what cost. Was my friend not to defend herself after she was touched first? How am I responsible for something I wasn't even present for?
There is more, but I'll stop there. Iowa Lakes just wasn't the place for me, and anyone that knows me knows if I say something, I mean it, and I am going to make it happen. I said I was going there for one year and getting out. Midway through the season, I told everyone I was leaving. There was one person that convinced me to stay and finish the season. He's been my basketball fairly odd parent. Since seeing work ethic in a high school practice and following my High School journey, he's always had my back and kept me level-headed.
Being a college athlete isn't for the weak. They say if you make it out my city to hoop you made, not knowing it's a different struggle.
I hate it here!