Without a nerve in his body, senior Blaise Wallace shoots the basketball and finally reaches his personal goal of scoring 1000 career points. Wallace has been playing basketball since the third grade and has gone through some rough patches throughout his career, such as the loss of cartilage in his knee during his eighth grade basketball year. Overcoming this and other challenges has made him into a stronger and better player and has taught him many lessons in resilience. It took him time to recover, but eventually he started to make his way back onto the court and worked hard to become a great player, which all brought him to where he is today.
“I started [basketball] because I would join all my friends and as time went on I started to love it,” Wallace said. “My biggest motivation is probably myself. Also, I know my mom really wants me to do great things which also really motivates me to do great.”
Wallace unknowingly hit 1000 points during the last basketball season. Once he realized his achievement, however, he celebrated with his teammates who gave him a basketball to remember his success and he was also honored during a ceremony after his latest game on Oct. 26.
“I was so excited for him when I heard the news,” teammate and senior Colin McAllister said. “The team was also so excited because of how great a teammate Blaise is. We all also work really well together.”
Wallace loves the dynamic of his team and being able to play with his closest friends. For the past five years, head coach Eugene Granger has been coaching him. Alongside his friends and longtime coach, Wallace has enjoyed the long journey he has taken to become the player he is today.
“It’s exciting to see him [Wallace] grow and to be a part of his development,” Granger said. “He’s continuing to grow each season and we are looking forward to a successful season.”
After finishing his senior year at Maclay, Wallace wants to continue his career and play basketball in college. He will officially sign to Albany State University on Friday, Dec. 9. However, Wallace does not want to go professional and has decided he wants to join the workforce after playing college level basketball. Basketball has been such a large part of his life for so many years and Wallace is grateful to have learned many lessons in order to keep himself motivated.
“The biggest lesson I have learned from basketball is to never put all your eggs in one basket,” Wallace said. “I’ve gotten injured a lot of times and I’ve been out alot and if you put all your energy into one thing then it gets taken away, it’s depressing and I don’t want that. So I have learned to have other hobbies than just basketball.”