Bryce Cotton is an American professional basketball player, a three times National Basketball League (NBL) Most Valuable Player, three times NBL Champion and a Perth Wildcats team member since 2017.

Faith and a dream

Growing up in a small city, I had goals that weren’t commonly reached in Tucson, Arizona; especially not the neighbourhood I was from. However, it was instilled in me to have faith in God and extreme belief in myself to accomplish whatever I put my mind to. From the early age of seven years old, I knew that I wanted to make it to the National Basketball Association (NBA) one day and nothing excited me more than eventually becoming a professional basketball player. A lot of odds were stacked against me, but through the grace of God, I overcame every obstacle to get where I am today. Hence, having faith and a vision to see my dreams through to the finish line was all the fuel I needed on my road to success.

Effort > results

In life, we can only control so much. There are things that happen to us beyond our control and it is up to us how we decide to react to it. That is where effort comes into play. For example, as a professional athlete I may have plenty of goals I wish to accomplish but obstacles beyond my control can hinder those opportunities. Instead of letting that discourage me, I do the best I can and give everything I have to make the most of the situation I am in, and can live with the results whether it’s a good or bad conclusion because I know in my heart I did everything in my power to maximise my situation.

Journey greater than the destination My Mum always said that the journey is better than the destination. I never quite understood what that meant when she first said it but as I got older and had some life experiences of my own, it became clear as day. This is very sentimental to me because of the long journey I’ve had with basketball. I always wanted to make it to the NBA and never cared if I played for one day, one year or ten. I just wanted to be able to say, “I made it to the NBA.” I had stints in my first two professional seasons in the NBA, mainly with the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns, before playing the next four years in different places overseas – Europe, China and Australia. I always knew I would get to the NBA somehow someway (because of my faith in my dream), and even though I didn’t stay as long as I would’ve liked, it’s not the point.

I did everything in my power to accomplish my goal and did just that. I wouldn’t trade my path for anything in the world because I’ve found a wonderful foundation in Australia and my basketball career has taken off out here astronomically.

All in all, the saying “the journey is greater than the destination” pertains heavily to my life simply to the fact that accomplishing my lifelong goal of making it to the NBA wasn’t my most memorable moment. Rather it was the entire journey that gave me so many unexpected twists and turns of adversity that made it all worthwhile.

Author – Bryce Cotton

Republished with permission from Bryce Cotton.