While our mural artists often come from community input and careful thought with a predetermined wall, this particular mural’s message was in hand prior to having a wall to paint it. When the opportunity arose to be part of the mural festival, SprayView (located in the SF Bayview district), I knew I had found the right home. So where did this mural’s message come from?
For those of you that attended Lick Wilmerding High School, Coach Elliot Smith should be no stranger to you and was a major influence on me. I’ll just share one example I’ll never forget of his positivity and wisdom. Right after going through jv basketball team tryouts and getting cut, I was upset and went to Coach Smith to explain (aka angrily vent) that I felt I deserved to be on the team and was upset that Coach Mack (jv basketball coach) didn’t see my best performance. Coach Smith’s advice was to go to the first day of practice and tell Coach Mack how I felt and prove to him that I deserved to be on the team. I wanted to be on the team so badly that the hunger overcame my incredible fear of embarrassment of coming to the first day of practice after being cut and asking for another shot. Coach Mack did end of giving me a shot to prove myself and I’ll never forget his words “You’ve shown tremendous heart, courage, and hustle in coming back that you deserve to be on the team”.
When I reconnected with Coach Smith last year, he remarkably remembered me and I asked him if he could say anything to the world, what would it be? Thanks Coach for giving me hope to take action in the present.
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