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Take advantage of every opportunity

One of the oldest clichés in sports is that the result simply comes down to who wants it more.

This cliché can apply to many aspects of the game, including winning games or receiving individual accolades, but it also applies to many stages of life as well.

You’re either the employer or the employee. The entertainer or the person being entertained. The business owner or the consumer. 

In many cases, people from the latter get jealous of the former based on comparisons and standards for success.

The biggest difference between standouts and the rest of the crowd is work ethic. Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant famously said that hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. Granted, Durant is also a 6-foot-11 power forward with the mobility and athleticism of a guard, but I digress.

After winning their 20th game of the season against Opelika on Thursday, players from the LaFayette boys basketball team stayed in the gym for an hour after to put up more shots, because they weren’t satisfied with the amount of shot that they missed during the win.

In addition to working hard, seizing opportunity is also vital when aiming for success. 

On Wednesday night, Lanett City Schools Athletic Director Clifford Story, Jr. hosted a seminar on recruiting that was open to all student-athletes in the Greater Valley Area. From the span of Monday to Wednesday, 14 colleges including Notre Dame, LSU, Tennessee, South Alabama, Georgia Tech and Belhaven University have visited Lanett to inquire about the school’s athletes. In the last decade, Lanett has seen 53 student-athletes sign to play in college on athletic scholarships.

“I get texts and inbox messages asking about what I do at Lanett,” Story said. “I just wanted to afford the opportunity for the community to see what I do at Lanett, and where I get the information that I present to colleges and schools that come by here. It’s a sacrifice and a grind, but I love kids. My job is to help put them in the best position possible to be successful.”

The father of Valley freshman athlete Markavious Atkinson, Calvin, said that he expected the seminar to fill the Lanett auditorium, but the actual attendance was more underwhelming.

It may be easy for young students to feel like they all the time in the world, but time waits for no one. Nothing in life comes easy so when the opportunity presents itself, it is crucial to take advantage.

Rashad Milligan is the sports editor of The Valley Times-News. He can be contacted at rashad.milligan@valleytimes-news.com