Hi everybody, my name is Lamar Roberts and I am a Basketball Scholar at the University of East London. I was born in Hackney and was brought up in east London, so getting a scholarship at UEL means a lot to me. As well as competing in the British Universities and College Sports for UEL, I am also part of a team called the Newham All Star Sports Academy (NASSA) in the England Basketball League Division 1. I am currently studying a course which is called New Beginnings which runs until December to up my grades to degree level, before I go on to study Sports Coaching.
When I was four years old I sadly lost my mother to cervical cancer, which was extremely hard to deal with. Growing up without my mother around was one of the hardest problems I have learnt to deal with, and now when life throws stones at me I often use those stones as a step to succeed. From a young age basketball has been a key interest of mine and I first started playing basketball at St Matthias boys club when I was 7 which was at the bottom of my road when I lived in Hackney. When I was younger basketball was not the only sport I enjoyed playing. Before I joined a basketball team I was part of a football team and I also enjoyed competing in local table tennis competitions within the community and I even won a trophy when playing pool. Despite taking part in the other sports, playing basketball allowed me to let out my emotions, especially during my school years when I was often in trouble and I experienced some tough times. When I was 16 or 17 I found a postcard which was from my mother. On the postcard was a message saying how she wanted me to play basketball. Since reading that message it has had a massive effect on the way I look at things and led to me realising that I needed to find faith. As a strong believer in Christ, I have learnt from my faith to believe for more than just my own sake, which is why I have started a charity to ensure I help others find faith.
After finishing secondary school, I became depressed after failing to get the grades. It really felt as though life had come crashing down on me. A way I found to help cure the depression was to write lyric poems, which is now a keen interest of mine to share with others. Writing the poems helped build my self-esteem and cures my emotional health just as basketball does.
So far 2013 has been an eventful year for me. On the 16th April I got married to a wonderful woman who has been a pivotal part of my life ever since I met her. This day in particular is a very special day for me as it is also my mother’s birthday. Now coming to the end of the year, my main objective is to complete the New Beginnings course and to improve my basketball skill.
I train almost five times a week to ensure I perform at my best. Most of my playing time has been with the UEL team but since joining NASSA it has helped me to become more alert with my decisions on the court, and I am grateful to be working with some very talented and skilful teammates. As a scholar, I am very blessed and grateful to be able to have the facilities available to me. One thing I have benefited from the most is the treatment at UEL. When growing up I would continue to play with minor injuries but since being at UEL I have become a lot more aware of needing to allow my body to recover and I have realised how important the sports therapy and massages are! This allows my body to recover quicker and keep me fit and the UEL sports therapy and massage practitioner’s give me advice on what to do to improve my fitness.
Since joining UEL and NASSA, my dribbling and scoring with my right hand has improved majorly as at the beginning of summer my right hand wasn’t so impactful, but all my coaches and teammates know this and have helped me to work on this area of my game.
Since being a part of the UEL basketball team, one of my memorable performances was our away game at Kingston. The first half was far from easy, with the opposition’s fans being extremely vocal. With the crowd so loud and against us, our performance dropped and the team began to get frustrated. At the half way point the match was really close and could have easily gone in favour of the home team if we continued to let the crowd affect us. Despite this match being early on in the season, this was when everyone clicked together. In the second half of the match, rather than letting the crowd get to us we used it to encourage one another and bring the team cohesion together. With this response we played some fantastic basketball as a team and went on to win the game comfortably. This match definitely brought us together and showed us that we can get through tough situations.
Over the next few months I will continue to work hard to progress in both my education and basketball and below is a poem to leave you with.
Today Is Bright
Live and Love to win the Fight
You shine just like the stars at Night
Please do not destroy your Life
Be strong and pray
Keep calm today
Because God loves you in every way.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read through my sports blog, I hope that you enjoyed reading through it and I hope that you stay blessed, take care and thank you to UELSports for making this a reality and a very kind thank you to Charlie Long for taking the time to help put this together.
Till next time, God bless!