By Leticia Ceballos

Win or lose in life negativity, is never far behind, and thus it is up to each and every individual to disregard it and define their own success. This past basketball season my team and I wrapped up a winless season, but we found our success. We found neither the scoreboard nor the critics could dictate our victory, only we could.

They say that after every storm there is a rainbow, well our rainbow stayed through the storm; our symbol of hope. We became infamous for our lopsided scores, but mostly for our game at Florin High School, we lost 105 to 2. Just as fast as the game began it ended; the critics came even faster. The Sacramento Bee wrote an article about the game, the very first positive perspective of the game. The Bee spoke of our perseverance, not the score, our lack of experience, not our turnovers, our refusal to forfeit, not our ignorance to the fundamentals. They made us out to be a symbol of perseverance for the community, not the losers others made us to be.

Pride overwhelmed us, but like clock-work the negativity was back: blogs, comments on the article, even at school. The article intended to shine some light on to the unknown factors of the loss, but only gave more reason for negativity. Despite everything we refused to see the articles as negative, no longer would we be ashamed of that night at Florin. We felt pride in the fact that we controlled what we could. No matter how many times the referees or the coach offered we didn’t forfeit. Like warriors we continued to fight, knowing the game was lost from the moment the ball was tipped off.

For many of the girls this was their first time touching a ball, let alone playing. My coach made me captain; she trusted me to lead my team, trusted I would hold their heads up if they ever fell, and to ensure my team was not discouraged by the critics or the scoreboard. Little did I know this was the easiest part. Our heads never hung, our pride never hurt. Slowly but surely this season was shaping us into strong, determined individuals.

Losing became all but a stranger, and our rainbow began to shine brighter than ever. We improved every game, made less turnovers, made more baskets, showed more heart. We sought only to obtain the basic fundamentals of the game, but we got so much more than that. CBS did a broadcast featuring our practice and our game, bringing us more positive attention. Then the letters, the awards, and the donations began to come in. There was nothing negative left to focus on; we won.

The season soon wrapped up, and in those few months our small team turned into a big family. It became more than a game, it became a life lesson. A lesson we will carry forever; on paper we may have lost, but in our hearts knew we won far more than a game.