As a former Division I basketball player, I find myself still answering the question: "Do you miss playing college basketball?"
My answer every time is: "I miss being a part of a team, winning, and the games. I do not however miss, practices, workouts, and the pain (injury wise) that I went through."
The more and more I am asked this question though, the more tougher it gets to answer.
I don't get it, and quite frankly never thought I would get it.
But after the 2012 NBA draft, and reading all the blogs, I finally have gained a piece of mind and some closure on why this question is so difficult, when it should be very simple.
My answer rests in the mindset of OSU star, All-American, and now a former top 5 player in the college game; Jared Sullinger.
You can call me crazy; I call me content.
Content with what was once "all I know", and is now "all I knew."
Sullinger went from believing he was a lottery pick to not even getting invited to the draft for fear of, and protection from, embarrassing the league - all in a matter of 10 days.
How embarrassing. Like move to another zip code and change your name, embarrassing.
Jared Sullinger though responds to the media with this: "this (not being invited to the draft, being picked low) still tells me I'm not a good enough player yet. They told me I wasn't good enough, now it's time to work."
With sports, the higher level you get, at the end of the day, it's a business.
Sports can be cruel, and sometimes too hard to handle.
The way a player handles it once it sinks in, sinks in so deep that you feel as if you're drowning, is what truly defines the type of player one is.
Jared Sullinger went from being the face of the college game, to being just a "somebody" in the professional game, not even.
Yet he has managed to make it the best fuel of his life.
It is the best explanation as to why answering that question I constantly do, becomes tougher and tougher each time.
Its because sports has the power to affect you in a way that no one else can understand until your in the position yourself.
It doesn't matter if you are just making a life adjustment, or going from being a big fish in a little pond, to a tad pole in the ocean.
Sports to some, become a way of life - and more times than not, sports are the reason as to why, they simply survive.