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Everything happens for a reason
By Becky Hammon, Special to the Rapid City Journal, 8/20/01

Chance or purpose?

In life, I believe that all things happen for a reason. We may not know at the moment, but everyone has a purpose. Each opportunity in itself has a purpose, a reason.

It's also interesting how we handle each situation. Our responses are as individual as we are.

When certain things come along in life — whether good or bad — we all respond differently. The world would be a boring place without individuality.

It's the very thing that makes each of us precious and, yet, intertwines us all.

It's a pretty amazing thing that in the history of the world there's never been another you, and after you there will never be another person just like you. Your experiences, your responses, your thought process, your family, your genes, your spirit — that's enough to put a smile on my face, and should put one on yours.

In my life, I believe there's a real purpose — a bigger picture than I can see or even begin to understand. It's no chance happening that I play basketball. Ever since I was a kid, I've loved to play. I had a drive, an inner motivation, and more importantly, I had a gift. I don't know why God chose to give those gifts to me, but I know he did.

There's a reason greater than simply putting a leather ball in a steel hoop. It's been something that's been part of me ever since I can remember. As a kid, I couldn't explain why I never got burnt out. I just didn't. Basketball was my passion.

My other passion is people.

Since a young kid, I remember always having friends that were a little different, or maybe they were considered to be a little wild. I just always wanted to help them understand that they were important to me. I wanted to let them know that I cared about them, and that they had purpose and you being you was good enough for me.

I don't believe that my life, or their lives, or your life has been chance. The purpose of any life has a picture bigger than we understand or grasp, and it's been planned out longer than our existence. Just as we have individual gifts and passion, we have individual purposes, and that's impossible to be just by chance.

Becky Hammon, an all-state basketball player at Rapid City Stevens and an All-American at Colorado State, is in her third year of pro basketball as a member of the WNBA's New York Liberty.