Life Lessons We Learned from Love & Basketball

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 16 years since we met Monica and Quincy and learned that all’s fair in love and basketball. While most of us were just checking out Omar Epps and falling for the love story between two basketball lovers, we were also catching some knowledge. In between the basketball games and love scenes we learned a few lessons that every woman will inevitably face at some point in her life.

“It’s a trip, you know? When you’re a kid, you-you see the life you want, and it never crosses your mind that it’s not gonna turn out that way.” ~ Monica Wright, Love&Basketball

Not Everyone Will Celebrate Your Success: Whew, this is a hard lesson to learn in life and in  Love & Basketball we see that it’s something we all go through, even with those closest to us. At USC while Quincy was becoming a college basketball star, Monica was trying to prove herself on her new team…as a backup to the star player. And when she finally grabbed that number one spot, the person who was supposed to celebrate her success the most, didn’t show up. As we get older, we realize that not everyone will be as happy for our success as we hope and many times expect them to be. It’s tough but it helps you to celebrate even harder for yourself and appreciate those who do show up even more.

Never Let Anyone Define Your Dreams for You: One of the most interesting parts of the movie was Monica’s relationship with her mother. While the focus and main storyline was, of course, on love and basketball, there was side story of a mother trying to influence her daughter to forgo her dreams. And eventually she did. When I watched Monica struggling in those heels, walking awkwardly in a dress suit, working at bank, my heart hurt for her. The unhappiness surrounded her with every step. Regardless of what people, even those closest to you, tell you what to do with your life, it’s YOUR life. And the only one who has to live it is you. When Monica finally decided to go back to chasing her true desires, that’s when she starting truly living again. They’re your dreams to chase, so chase them!

It Gets Greater Later: When Monica and Quincy were both playing for USC, the differences between their experiences was tough to watch. While Quincy was a star, playing to packed stadiums and hype crowds, Monica was playing for significantly smaller crowds with much less support. After college, Quincy’s options included a coveted spot with the NBA while Monica had to travel across the world away from everyone she knew in order to continue playing the game she loved. It could have been easy for her to give up–and for a brief stint she did–instead of dealing with the difficulties that came with her dream. But instead she kept at it and by the end of the movie she was playing for the newly formed WNBA. While you’re in the midst of things, it’s hard to keep your eyes on the prize, but let this serve as a perfect example that it truly does get greater, later.

What is Meant to Be, Will Be: As cliche as it sounds, there’s so much truth in this statement. I think we all shed a few real tears when Monica and Quincy decided to go their separate ways. With Monica across the world and Quincy an NBA star, it seemed like their story was over. Oh, and remember when Quincy got injured and we found out he was engaged? Yup, he had to be gone forever. But somehow, through all of that, the two lovebirds found their way back to each other. In life and love, things may not always be clear, make sense, or seem to be going your way. Things fall apart, sometimes for temporarily and sometimes for good. But the real truth is, what is meant to be, will be. Take peace in that as you navigate this life journey.


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