Bounce Back

According to the U.S. News and World Report, 80% of Americans fail to follow through with their New Year’s resolutions. However, one student is completely undaunted by this statistic.

Junior Kyrilos Sadaka committed to a resolution to improve his basketball abilities for the church league season at the beginning of this year and is showing no signs of quitting. Sadaka believes that he will be able to maintain the discipline that his resolution requires.

“I’m not worried that I’ll fail to follow through because I have a lot of friends that are supporting me,” said Sadaka. “My teammates are helping me a lot with practicing basketball, the coaches are scheduling a bunch of practices, and a couple of friends are helping me get stronger in the gym.” 

His goal is to score over 130 points over the course of the season, as well as getting stronger and more fit. “I was thinking that it should be pretty easy to score 130 points in ten games,” said Sadaka. “That’s only 13 points per game, and so far I’m getting close to that, even though it’s still the beginning of the season.”

One of his teammates, junior Evan Ramey, has noticed a steady improvement in Sadaka’s play throughout the season. “He scored the first points of the season, which was kind of surprising, but since then he’s become a much more reliable player,” he said. “I know church league isn’t good basketball, but it gets pretty competitive, and Sadaka is able to do pretty well.”

Obviously, this improvement didn’t occur overnight; his development is a product of discipline and hard work on the court and in the gym. “I try to get as many shots up as I can after school every day,” said Sadaka, “And I do my best to work on ball handling and passing whenever I can.” In addition to his solo training sessions, Sadaka’s team has scheduled practices twice a week, and he attends those practices consistently. “It’s a little bit extreme, but we practice at 9:30 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday,” said Ramey. “I respect the fact that he shows up to almost all of the practices, even when he has schoolwork or other things to do.”

A huge role model for Sadaka was the great Kobe Bryant. “His [Bryant’s] work ethic has really inspired me,” he said. “I have a pair of Kobe shoes that I play in, and for a while, I called myself the ‘Brown Mamba.’ It’s tragic that such an icon has passed but he inspired and motivated so many people, including me.”

Sadaka’s success also stems from his hard work in the gym, with his workout partner, junior Brooks O’Shea. “I’m trying to help Sadaka get stronger, and he’s doing really well,” said O’Shea. “We usually wake up at about 4:30 a.m. to lift before school, and try to stay there as long as we can without being late for class.”

Sadaka has progressed in the gym a lot because of others who have helped him along the way.“Brooks [O’Shea] and some GNC worker taught me which creatine and pre workout to use, and I think those are really helping me with my workouts,” he said. “When Church League is over, I’m definitely going to keep working out like I am right now. Who knows, maybe after a while I’ll be able to compete with him.”

O’Shea is skeptical about Sadaka’s thoughts of surpassing him, but appreciates Sadaka’s commitment. “I’m not really sure why, but he has a membership at like four different gyms in Little Rock,” said O’Shea, “and he goes to all of them during the week. I have no idea where he gets all that energy and motivation.”

 

Sadaka’s motivation also came with the realization that his resolution can spread to other aspects of his life, not just Church League basketball. “Honestly, I believe that if I can reach this goal, and get better at something that I was bad at, it could be the same way for other things in life,” he said. “If I can go from playing basketball as a joke to scoring 130 points in a season, I feel like I can reach any other goal I set for myself.”

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