Please expand upon an aspect (s) of your academic or extra-curricular background that you feel is especially important to you and that will help us to get to know you as a person.
My passion for the game of basketball started at a very young age. Though I had always enjoyed playing basketball with friends, my interest in the game intensified when I was 6 years old. It was Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals and I vividly remember each play. My eyes were fixed to the television as Michael Jordan drove to the basket, suddenly stopped, pulled back as his defender kept running, jumped up into the air, and shot the ball to win the game. As I watched Michael Jordan celebrate, it made me think about how he had accomplished his goal to be the best basketball player. From that day on, I have tried to emulate his undying will, courage, determination, and discipline. The more I practiced the more confidence I gained and learned how to perform under pressure.
At age 10, I began playing basketball regularly. The following year in my summer league, I was the league's top scorer. As my game continued to improve, I made the middle school team as a sixth grader. In order to develop the skill set required to secure a position on my high school team, I relentlessly worked on every aspect of my game. I ran to build stamina, worked on my defense and tried to perfect my jump shot. This hard work and determination paid off when I was selected to be on the varsity team as a freshman. I was the only starting freshman on the team, a feat that only few have accomplished in the 60 year history of our school.
My propensity to challenge myself on the court has also enabled me to excel in other areas of my life. My drive to become a great basketball player was just as strong as my desire to be an outstanding student. Just as I have on the court, off the court I have challenged myself academically by enrolling in several advanced placement and honors courses. The leadership skills I learned from basketball have helped me when I tutored underprivileged kids in math and held soccer clinics at our community center. Finally, I believe my basketball experience has also allowed me to engage in other activities outside the classroom. For example, I have had the privilege to be a counselor at a summer camp, coach basketball clinics for young aspiring players, and participate in important panel discussions with parents about balancing academics and high school athletics at Greenhill.
Throughout my life, my passion for basketball has continually intensified. As I got older, it played a larger role in my life, and it has shaped me into the person I am today. It has molded me into a passionate, hard worker. I have been able to define myself through playing the game I love - basketball.
I agree that this is good, and I also have a book to recommend for you:
Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and Off the Court
It really shows the wisdom available in basketball.
For readers, it is important in this kind of essay to help them appreciate basketball if they do not already; that is what makes the essay meaningful. You do that quite well with the description of Jordan stopping and the defender keeps going...
For this essay, they way to improve it might be to COMPOUND the theme of the essay so that you have 2 things going on at once. See if the principles involved with your basketball process are reflections of anything else you might have going on... your intended major, etc. What theme can it represent?