When spectators watch the best basketball players, they see their performance on the court, the stat line, and the score at the end of the game. What they don't see, are the thousands of hours on an empty court, the amount of reps repeated before their coach was satisfied, the pounds lifted and the miles ran that made them who they are as a player and a person.
Their success is built on the foundation of their work ethic and hunger for greatness. Success didn't just appear before them upon a silver platter, but through the blood, sweat and tears they endured through the journey.
The journey began for Rob Steib, guard for the Polars in the UH Dream League, when he moved from New Orleans to Minneapolis at 11 years old. Moving from a predominately football state to a basketball state is usually a tough transition for young athlete's. For Steib that wasn't the case; he actually found new love in basketball.
"It kept me out of trouble. It gave me something to do besides running the streets with my friends; gave me a passion, a purpose."
Steib went to De La Salle High School where further opportunities for him as a player and a student became reality. Practicing against and playing with some of the best players in the country helped make him become the best player he could be. His career started to blow up his junior year after winning two state titles and becoming nationally ranked as a team and as an individual player. Steib describes the pivotal moment when he realized the potential for his career:
"I was playing with all these big names, and eventually my name became one of them. It woke me up, and I realized we can all get scholarships to go D1 if we want to and take it to the next level."
The road to succeeding in the elite level of basketball wasn't an easy one for Steib. He grew up being raised by his mother who gave him everything she could, but he was determined to provide for her as well.
"My mom is the most important person in my life, and I never wanted her to struggle. It was never up to my mom to pay for things like new video games or new Nikes, I worked and payed for that myself. And I told her that I just want her to not have to pay for my college. Basketball did that for me. It was a way for me to help my mom and continue my education."
Not only was basketball a way to continue his education, but it's where he developed his work ethic and learned his most valuable life lessons. Waking up early mornings for practices and classes while still making the honor roll provided a routine that required structure and discipline.
"It's like a job. Without structure and discipline you don't get stuff done on time, deadlines mean nothing, championships don't get won, people don't get hired. Basketball taught me that every routine has a purpose to make you a better player and a better person. You become a better player, you get more play time, you get a better scholarship. You become a better employee, you get promoted, you get a better job that pays more."
Basketball also allowed Steib to learn the difference between goals and dreams and the importance of setting goals. Once he understood that dreams are empty fantasies, while goals require accountability and commitment, he knew he was going to be successful. At the age of thirteen he started setting goals, and has found a lot of success in doing so.
"People dream all their lives about being millionaires or famous rap stars. It seems so far out so they never do anything to work for it. People who set goals with full confidence in their ability to complete them, are the ones who succeed. If they look at it as a vision or a dream then they don’t take the steps necessary to get to that goal. No matter what your goals are, you need to hold yourself accountable to those goals, reach them, and then set new goals. That's how you grow. That's how you succeed."
Steib moved on to play college ball at South West State University and professional ball in Spain. He now continues his love for basketball in the Ultimate Hoops Dream League: "Even though I am done playing professionally, I still love the game. The competitive environment is great here and I love Ultimate Hoops for that."
Rob Steib continues to strive above and beyond and is now in the entertainment business and has founded a non-profit organization to create equal opportunity for the less fortunate called Global Party Solutions (GPS) Marketing Group.