When the wheels of the plane finally touched down in America, I exhaled a sigh of relief. Walking through customs, the security guard checked out my passport and, in a no-nonsense tone, asked, “What was the reason for your visit?”
“I was playing professional basketball.”
His eyes lit up and he started asking me questions with genuine curiosity. I told him I attended Rowan University and he knew a few people who went there. We kept talking until he realized he was holding up the line and sent me on my way, wishing me well. I smiled as I thought, What a great welcome back to America.
My mom was excited to see me and gave me a big hug. The plan was to stay at her place for a while, figuring out if I wanted to move back to New York or try my hand at jobs in Pompano Beach. Since I got some stats from the season, I’d work over the summer then try to get onto a different team when the season started in the fall. Until then I’d try to stay in shape.
The drive to Pompano Beach from the Miami airport was peaceful. Palm trees lined the road, similar to Argentina, and the air was a cool seventy degrees. Her apartment was right at the edge of the ocean so I put on some sandals and walked to the beach. I looked up at the stars, thankful to be back in America.
These were My First Moments in America After Playing Professional Basketball.