20. Lakin Wood

The countdown begins with the 20th most influential person to ever grace my life, that being Lakin Wood. This is one of many surprising entries I am sure. This is probably due to the fact that Lakin and I are not friends and have never been friends. We have spoken only once, ever, but that conversation stayed with me ever since. I am very good at recalling events from memory that people involved don’t even remember happening, my feeling is that this is one of those instances. Now for the impact itself.

When I was in middle school (grades 6-8), I liked to frequent activity nights at the high school. There was really nothing to them, just playing whatever games or sports were going on in the gym or dancing, it was one or the other. I was not a good dancer, and didn’t feel like embarassing myself in learning on the spot, so I always stuck to the gym and played basketball. I thought I was good, and maybe I was, but that night I learned more.

I was shooting off to the side by myself when a girl walked up to me. I didn’t know her but I knew of her. Her name was Lakin Wood and she was two years older than me. The high school students were usually chaperons for these events and I assume on this night she was filling that role, probably for community service credit. When she approached me, she told me that I was shooting the basketball wrong and proceeded to show me the proper way to do so. It was a simple little lesson but I listened because she was older and played basketball for the high school team. My shot wasn’t really affected that much, she just showed me how to better release the ball and to increase my accuracy a little.

For this little piece of knowledge I am thankful, because I play basketball many times per week and at the collegiate level. It is a game I have enjoyed throughout my life and continue to learn more about whenever I take the court. I thank Lakin for taking the time to teach a kid that she didn’t even have to bother talking to.

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