Adreon Bell

student, William Chrisman High School

To the editor:

The most influential person in my life is Lindsay Thompson. She was the head coach of our girls’ basketball team. She coached for maybe six years or more. I first met her in the sixth grade at the Bears’ camp. I had no idea who she was, but I had a feeling I wanted to play for her.

The next year, my life went downhill. I was in ISS constantly and got kicked out of summer school. Coach Thompson kept tabs on me because she knew I was going to be a special young lady. I’m pretty sure she was the first person to know I was in trouble. That’s how serious it was. Right before my eighth-grade year, she came over to my house, and we had a very serious conversation. She even brought along a high school player. She basically told me I needed to change the way I was doing things, and my attitude, if I wanted to play varsity basketball as a freshman. She gave me rules I had to follow and Teamstrong expectations. I still have the papers on my wall.

My life got better, and I changed my attitude completely. I was no longer a troubled kid. People were shocked by how I changed, but I had to in order to do what my dream was. I worked hard each day, and she checked on me every once in a while.

People told me the best team I would make was JV, and I believed them. I had another talk with Coach Thompson. She told me lots of people were going to start talking to me more and more because I made varsity. She told me not to get a big head.

Coach Thompson and I have had our ups and downs. When we played Lee’s Summit, I cried the whole game. I played maybe eight minutes. She told me I was going to play people better than me from then on. I had to get over it and had to stop being a baby. Sometimes I didn’t want to believe the things she did would make me better, but they did. And I can only be thankful for everything she has done for me. She has made me a better basketball player and a great young lady.

I kind of wish I would have made the season better for her. It hurts knowing she won’t coach me ever again, but I know she will always be there for me. She’s one of the few people I know who believes in me. I honestly love Coach Thompson so much, and she’s like a second mom to me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her.

If she could become our coach again, I would greatly appreciate it. It would mean the world to me.