Sunday, October 26, 2014

#TeAmoManu - A promise to Manu Ginobili by Gia Jamias

I’ve already begun to hold my breath. As the NBA season draws near, I’ve clasped my hands together harder than ever before. I pray to God to keep Manu Ginobili at his best and most especially, injury free. It’s like a looming dark cloud over my head. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was so relieved that Manu signed a 2-year extension with the San Antonio Spurs. Now that we’re down to the last year of his contract, I’ve never been more at edge. I’ve grown up watching this amazing Argentine play the sport I’m so passionate about. I cannot imagine the NBA without him.

More and more people have come to see the beauty that is Spurs basketball. I believe that this beauty comes with age. I’m lucky that the little girl in me from years back stuck with a player who has filled my heart with championships and has become a huge part of this beautiful game. Now that I’m all grown up, I’m doing all that I can to make that little girl’s dream come true. This will be the year I get to watch my love, Manu, play live.

I’ll be honest. What first caught my eye about Ginobili was the exotic charisma: the accent, the once flowing hair. He has hot hands from the perimeter, the ones that sink threes at the most crucial times. My heart jumps out of my chest whenever he dunks. He drives to the basket without fear. I could not be any prouder when he has banked in the most points in a game. 

Call me weird, but what made me fall in love with Manu even more was his passing. Have you seen the ‘San AntonioSpurs Tribute – The Beautiful Game’ video that came out right after they won the championship early this year? He makes these no look passes, or he passes by touching the ball for a fraction of a second, or my personal favorite - passes that go in between the opponent’s legs that in some cases he passes to himself. I’m on my feet shouting, “WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PASS!!!” 

What would the NBA be like without a guy swatting down a bat that’s loose on the court? Or who else could possibly drive so hard, his sneaker explodes? Everyone has a joke about his balding head, go ahead and laugh. You will all miss seeing that shiny patch going up and the hardwood, you'll see. On a team of "non-superstars", Manu is my superstar. A virtuoso of the beautiful game. The owner of my basketball heart. This is the year. That little girl will make a dream come true. Te Amo Manu. I'll see you soon. GJ

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