A life lesson with every shot, touchdown, hit, kick or score - Opinion

Pray. Study. Work Hard.

Actions that are the main focus for a majority of Muslims, and rightfully so. We are constantly asked to perfect these actions from an early age to ensure a successful future.

Now imagine if we added "Play Sports" to that list.

Would many put as much emphasis and focus as they do towards praying, studying, and working? Would parents make it a priority for their kids to be involved in any organized sports? And playing in the masjid parking lot does not count.

If the answer is no, then it's time to change. Leadership. Sacrifice. Dedication. Brotherhood or Sisterhood. Discipline. Teamwork. These are values that are fundamental to Islam and - yes they can be learned through prayer, studying, and working - but these traits were also instilled in me at an early age through sports, specifically through basketball.

You are placed in an environment that helps you develop as a person for the better. You are surrounded by peers, coaches, and parents that want the best for you.

The number of life lessons taught are equivalent to the number of shots taken. They never end.

Bonds are created with people from every background. Teams evolve into