A Memphis Girl

By Raven Adia Sims

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I was born and raised in Memphis.

From the moment I stepped on the court, people told me to get out of Memphis. They warned me about the poverty, the violence, and the struggles.

They said I was better off somewhere else.

So, when I started getting recruited by Memphis, that meant something to me.

It meant that my hometown believed in me and wanted me to represent them.

It changed my entire perspective on what it meant to be from Memphis.

Suddenly, I wasn’t just a kid from the city; I was an ambassador.

I was proof that you could come from Memphis and make something of yourself.

When I signed with the university, I knew I had a lot of people counting on me.

I wasn’t just playing for myself and my family; I was playing for my city.

Early Days

I was always involved in sports as a kid. From a young age, I was constantly trying out different activities and looking for new things to do.

I started playing basketball when I was in fourth grade. I remember going to my dad’s house, and he had a basket set up in the backyard.

He challenged me to hit a three-pointer, and if I made it, he and my brother had to do pushups for the rest of their lives.

I’m not sure what the inspiration behind that bet was, but I know it motivated me to start practicing.

Every time I went to my dad’s house, we would have a shootout, and I would try to hit as many three-pointers as possible.

It was fun, and it made me really interested in the sport.

I joined the basketball team in elementary school and quickly fell in love with the game. There was something about being on the court that just felt right to me.

I played a few other sports growing up, like soccer and track, but basketball was always my favorite.

I loved the competition and the camaraderie with my teammates.

It was a sport that constantly challenged me and pushed me to be better.

It was everything I ever wanted in a sport.

Suddenly, I wasn’t just a kid from the city; I was an ambassador. I was proof that you could come from Memphis and make something of yourself. When I signed with the university, I knew I had a lot of people counting on me. I wasn’t just playing for myself and my family; I was playing for my city.

Recruitment

I was recruited by Memphis early on in my high school career.

When the coaching staff started reaching out, I quickly developed a good relationship with them.

They came to all of my high school games and AAU tournaments, and I got to know the coaches and the players really well.

It was an amazing experience to have my hometown school show so much interest in me.

I’ll be honest, though — I wasn’t always sure if I wanted to stay in Memphis.

As mentioned earlier, growing up, I heard a lot of people tell me that I needed to get out of the city.

For a while, I started to believe them.

I thought maybe it would be best for me to leave Memphis and experience something new.

But as I started to get more and more attention from the Memphis coaching staff, I started to realize that staying in Memphis could be a good thing.

I looked at it as an honor to represent my city on a bigger stage. Instead of being a challenge, it became an opportunity to do something great.

Transition to College

Playing for Memphis has been an incredible experience, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

One of the best things about playing for Memphis is having my family so close. They come to every home game, and it means the world to me to have their support.

They are always on their feet, cheering me on.

It’s an amazing feeling to look up into the stands and see my family there.

I know how lucky I am to have their support, and I don’t take it for granted.

It’s a huge part of what drives me every time I step on the court. This season has been challenging at times, but overall, I’m just grateful for the opportunity to play.

I’m a freshman, and I’m getting a lot of minutes, which is pretty rare at this level.

I recognize the benefit of that and I try to make the most of every opportunity I get.

I’m constantly learning and growing as a player, and I know I still have a long way to go.

But I’m just taking it one day at a time and doing everything I can to help my team win.

That’s my main goal — to do whatever I can to help our team be successful.

As I look ahead to the rest of the season, that’s what I’m focused on.

I’m excited to see what the future holds, and I know I have a lot of work to do.

But I’m just grateful for the opportunity to represent my city and my school every time I step on the court.

That’s something I don’t take for granted, and I’m going to do everything I can to make the most of it.