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Cruz Makes The Cut Thumb (1).jpg

Cruz was the kind of kid who was good at everything, he was a great friend, he knew how to fix anything, and would always lend a helping hand - without being asked.


Cruz spent the majority of his time on the basketball court with his friends. He loved playing basketball. 


“Hey Cruz, are you trying out for the basketball team tomorrow?”, asked his friend Brice. 


“Of course I’m trying out for the basketball team”, replied Cruz.


Cruz always wanted to be part of a team. He could imagine himself dribbling the ball up and down the court, making the game winning shot while the crowd cheered for him. What a dream! He wanted to make the team so bad! 


After school, Cruz went straight home to practice. Hard work was necessary, and he knew that. He dropped off his backpack and picked up a snack, a water bottle and a basketball, then told his mom he’d be back for dinner. 


When Cruz got to the basketball court, it was empty, which was exactly what he wanted: an open space to practice all on his own. He wanted to focus on dribbling the ball, and shooting from the free throw line. After 45 minutes straight, Cruz was tired, but you know what they say, “nothing will work unless you do”. 


Before bed, Cruz was nervous, but a good type of nervous. He had picked out exactly what he was going to wear for the tryouts: 

  • A Steph Curry jersey, for good luck

  • A matching pair of shorts, for fashion's sake

  • And his favourite pair of Jordans. Not team Jordans though, he wasn’t crazy


Laying in bed, Cruz could not stop imagining himself as the star player with his schoolmates chanting his name, “Let’s go Cruz, let’s go Cruz, let’s go Cruz!” 


In the morning, Cruz woke up so excited for tryouts. He decided to eat something healthy for breakfast: 2 boiled eggs and a bowl of Raisin Bran. It didn’t taste great, but it sure made him feel good. 


At lunchtime, Cruz, Brice, and all of their friends rushed to the gym for tryouts.

Coach Mayberry said he was looking for skill, sportsmanship, and effort, and that after school, there would be a list of everyone who made the team posted outside of the gym doors.


Tryouts were intense. Running, push ups, sit ups, chin ups, right hand dribbling, left hand dribbling, and even a scrimmage game. Cruz was so tired by the end of lunch and he couldn’t help but wonder if he was going to make the team. 


If he didn’t make the team, he would be crushed. 


The afternoon went by super slowly, but when the bell rang, all of the boys rushed out of the door, eager to see the list of everyone who made the team. The list was posted right there, on a white piece of paper. Cruz tiptoed so he could see over his classmates, he scanned the list looking for his name, but didn’t see it. This couldn’t be right, Cruz didn’t make the team? 


Cruz didn’t make the team. 


He was so upset, angry and sad. 


When Cruz got home, his dad asked about the tryouts. Cruz said that he didn’t make the cut and it “wasn’t a big deal”. His dad knew that he was upset, though. 


Cruz ripped down all of his basketball posters in his bedroom while fighting back tears and put everything into a box under his bed. He was going to give up on basketball for good. 


Cruz’s dad walked in and asked where the posters went. Cruz explained that he didn’t want to play basketball anymore, he wasn’t even good enough to make the team. He really wanted to be a part of a team. 


At that moment, Cruz’s dad told him about a basketball league at the community centre on Saturdays, it was open to everyone. Cruz smiled with excitement and asked if he could join.


Cruz’s dad told him that it’s important to never give up on your dreams and goals, even if you fail. “How will you ever win, if you give up?”, asked his dad. 


After putting the posters back up on his wall, Cruz went with his dad to the community centre to register for the house league basketball team. He even got a jersey! 


Just because he didn’t make his school's basketball team didn’t mean that he shouldn’t continue playing or practicing. Cruz went to bed that night happy, he could not wait for his first team game in two weeks.



  1. If you tried out for a team at school and didn’t make it, how would that make you feel?

  2. What’s one thing that you’re still trying to get better at (like drawing, swimming, riding a bike etc)?

  3. Do you know what the word perseverance means? If not, ask a grown up!

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