Short in height, not of talent

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Short in height, not of talent

First impressions tend to be based off of appearance and for senior Kevin Bland, he’s often underestimated. Being 5’4” is not a usual height for a point guard, but Bland defies all odds.

Bland’s family has a long list of football players. Desiring to stand out, he chose to be the first one to play basketball. He began recreational in the fifth grade, and his passion grew as he got older. Eighth grade was the first year he played on an organized team, and that’s when Bland knew he wanted to play the sport in high school.

With football being a big passion in his family, he wanted to see what the hype was about. Waiting for basketball season to come around he played football his freshman year, but he didn’t enjoy it, as expected. “Football was a cool experience, but I just didn’t feel the same way about it.”

That’s why when basketball season came around Bland was ecstatic. After Bland completed his first season he knew this is the sport he needed to play throughout high school.

Basketball is a very competitive sport. “You need speed, stamina, and spirit to do well in the game,” Bland explained.  Making friends on the court with the opposite team is not something he does. Bland thinks of his match-ups as a challenge. He will be friends off the court but never on the court. “It keeps me on my toes and at the end of the day winning is a very rewarding feeling.”

His height never hindered him from receiving playing time or enjoying the sport. “They always say he’s short but I play taller than I look. I let my skills speak for me.”

Bland plays two main positions point guard and shooting guard. These offensive positions are usually the ones to handle the ball and bring it down the court. They are the playmakers throughout the game.

Over the years Bland has played travel ball for an organization called Lion’s Truth. This has helped him gain so much knowledge for a sport he thought he already knew. “Playing travel has improved my skills. I have more momentum, I’m faster and I play smarter. If I wouldn’t have done travel ball, my approach to the game would be very different.”

Bland admires NBA players Stephen Curry and Chris Paul. “Everytime I watch the Rockets Paul stands out to me the most. He is so quick on his feet and he has so much stamina. Curry is another great basketball player because his fast releases are accurate.”

If Bland would have let others’ opinions cloud his mind about basketball he would not be playing the sport he loves.

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