The meaningful object that I chose is a basketball, and I chose this object because basketball is something that really means a lot to me. Sports in general runs in my family and all my siblings enjoy playing sports. Growing up, I remember the stories my mom used to tell me about how she used to jump rope and win tournaments and travel everywhere just to jump rope. My sister loves playing volleyball, and my little brother plays football for my local recreation center. I remember first laying my hands on a basketball. I was in the 6th grade, and I remember practicing every day in my backyard just trying to get better at my craft. I remember when we moved to my new house around three years ago. We moved to a place right down the street from a recreation center, and that's when I really started hooping. I've never had anything given to me when it comes to basketball. I had to hustle and play and learn every day, and even right now I don't feel like I'm as good as I could be. I play in an AAU league, the Amateur Athletic Union, a national youth sports organization. To put it simply, in AAU groups of players get together and form independent teams that compete in AAU tournaments against other teams. Since it was first created, the goal of AAU has been "to advance the development of youth sports and physical fitness programs." I play against elite players and honestly, that's the only way to get better. Basketball gives my life great meaning.
– Richard Skutnik