Getting Bullied by my High School Basketball Coach
As the season continued and we kept stacking wins, Coach Adams would say things to me that made me question whether he even wanted me on the team. I constantly heard, “Tyson, stop being so selfish,” during practices and games. One time he said the coach at Maine called him to ask how I was doing. Instead of saying it was a great conversation and he supported me, Adams just said, “Well, I’m not going to lie to him. I’m going to tell him the truth about you.”
I started second-guessing myself all the time. I thought, Am I doing something wrong here? Am I being a horrible leader and teammate?? I was confused and nervous just to go to practice sometimes for fear of what he’d say to me.
During Christmas, Fefo came down from Maine for winter break. They only had a few days off but it was great to see him again. We talked about the team, the practices and what it was like up there, since I’d be with him in a few months.
In the middle of our discussion, he surprised me by saying, “I’m not going back. I’m miserable up there. I hate it. I’m going back to Argentina.”
I thought, Are you kidding me? You have a Division 1 scholarship and it’s a great school! What’s not to like?!
I asked him why he didn’t like it, and he just said it was too cold and he didn’t like playing at a Division 1 school. When he left, I wondered why the hell he would quit. This was a huge opportunity. Thousands of kids across the world would kill for a Division 1 scholarship while he was just giving it away. It made no sense to me but I respected his decision. I thought, Maybe he just doesn’t care as much as me.
On the court, we still hadn’t lost a game going into the twentieth game of the season. During this matchup, we played a local Catholic school, one of their star players being a kid I grew up playing with. He was heading to Albany University, a team in the same conference as Maine so we both had a huge amount of respect for each other. We lost by one point for our first loss of the season. He and I each had about 20 points.
We were definitely making the playoffs, but because of Coach Adams, I didn’t even care. I just wanted the season to be over with as quick as possible. I didn’t even want to look at him, much less be his starting player and win games.
This was how I felt when I was getting bullied by my high school basketball coach.