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leaders of unites #15 jelt manning

My basketball world has expanded since 3X3 Unites
My name is Jelt Manning and I am 20 years old. Until I was around ten, I had hardly lived in the Netherlands. My father worked for Philips, so he traveled a lot and we had to move several times. When I was born, we lived in the Czech Republic. When I was three years old, we went back to the Netherlands for a short while, but soon we moved on to the United States of America. We lived in North White Plains, New York and I loved it! When I was ten, we left again and settled in Utrecht, but I still miss America quite often. I miss the culture, especially their attitude towards basketball. There, you play for your school, or your university. You really represent your community and there is a big sense of unity, and solidarity towards each other.

This is different in the Netherlands. Here, people play for a club, but outside of that they often attend other schools, and everyone has different friends. 3X3 Unites has been able to fill this gap. I got to know people all over the country and I see all of them during the competition.

Now, it is not just a game of basketball. You actually meet up with friends and catch up. My entire basketball experience has changed since 3X3 Unites.

When I was seven, I started playing basketball. My dad played too and of course he wanted me to like it. I went to play with my friends in the USA, attended a few training sessions and I was immediately sold. Once back in the Netherlands, I played at Red Stars, UBALL and now Red Stars again. But my basketball world has expanded since the arrival of 3X3 and 3X3 Unites. In the beginning I just thought it was a fun new way to play basketball, because you get the ball more often and you could play tournaments with your friends all summer long. But when 3X3 Unites caught my eye 2,5 years ago, it became much more than that. After my Leader Course in Amersfoort, I noticed that I also really enjoyed working with the children. You can pass on your own knowledge to the youth, who are always eager to learn. Everyone is full of positive energy because no one is obliged to come. So those who come, want to! I get a lot of satisfaction from it. In the meantime, I have also completed the Instructor Course and I am learning a lot more at 3X3 Unites. All the people who are part of the foundation are very talented. Everyone is specialized in something different, which allows me to acquire new information in all kinds of areas.

With the right attitude you can achieve anything
At the moment, I am in my third year of my physiotherapy study and it is incredibly interesting. It also helped me enormously when I could not play basketball myself for 2,5 years due to some serious injuries. I had torn my quadriceps in half, lengthwise, and I also had two fractures in my spine. Obviously, it was very tough, but because of my studies I knew what was going on in my body, what I could and could not do, and it helped my own rehabilitation. I was kind of my own patient! It is so cool to be able to put what you learn into practice right away. It would be great to be able to combine my education with basketball. At the games in America, you always see physical therapists sitting off court, maybe I would like to go that way! In any case, I want to help athletes. I myself have also had injuries and I know how important it is to have a good physical therapist. I want to offer that in the future.

Over the years I have learned that it is important to be and appear confident. I personally think that it can help you to achieve your dreams. With the right attitude you can achieve anything! Still, I had to learn not to toot my own horn too much, because sometimes I get too carried away, especially during basketball! I think I even said at one point that I am the best Dutch basketball player and that I could beat anyone. Of course, I lost immediately after that, so I learned my lesson again.

Do not hold back for fear of failure
When I look at my life in five years, there is not necessarily one line that I want to follow. Like I said, if I can combine my physical therapy with basketball that would be great, but I want to be open to what is yet to come. If I am satisfied with how my life is going, I will continue to follow that path, but the moment I am no longer happy I will certainly adjust that!

There are so many things that I dream about. I also secretly hope that one day I will be able to play basketball professionally again, but those opportunities are getting smaller. One thing I do know for sure is that I want to go abroad.

I used to want to go back to America, but it is no longer the way it was then. So maybe I will look elsewhere.

I want to travel for my future, explore, and spread my wings, but it is also very exciting to actually take the step. The Netherlands is nice and safe, easy and everything is well organized. At the moment I am looking for an internship for my studies and hopefully I can go to Switzerland for an internship in physical therapy! That can already be a great first step towards my wish to go abroad. Sure, it is easier to be at home safely, but I am not going to hold back because I am afraid of failure! Throw yourself into the adventure, fall on your face a few times, but eventually you will get back on your feet. I am curious about the future and I just let it all happen!

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