Ignored, frustrated...but still hanging on

PHILIPSBURG - It was a realization of part of his dreams in 2003 when Arnold Henry received a full basketball scholarship to the United States where he played for five different schools, namely Massanutten Military Academy, the University of Vermont, Carl Albert State College, University of North Florida, and Edward Waters College.

It was not an easy getting there; for although he had received the scholarship, getting to the United States was another hurdle. As he told Jen Moun Youth Magazine in an interview, "I spoke to the Minister of Education at the time but he turned be down saying he could not help. It was Claudius Francis who went out and spoke to a few persons that I was able to get a ticket to travel to America."

Arnold's struggles to fulfill his dreams as a basketball player motivated him to chronicle that journey as a way of contributing to the development of the young people in Saint Lucia.

In a book entitled, "Hanging onto my Dreams: Bouncing back from adversity" the long, sometimes desperate, and lonely path he walked to reach his goal makes interesting reading, as Arnold pours out his heart, pain and suffering into what he hopes will be used as a tool by young people to motivate themselves towards realizing their dreams.

Arnold who is currently in Saint Lucia seeking to work with young persons, told Jen Moun that writing the book "was not an easy decision to make but there is a question I had to ask myself and answer."

The question is "Have you ever wondered which hurts the most, and wishing most – saying something and wishing you had not, or saying nothing and wishing you had."

He told Jen Moun that he have been paying his way not just to develop his skill as a basketball player, but to promote the book as a toll towards helping others.arnold henry signing a book with his mother seated at his side photo by robertson s henry

"I have been reaching out to St. Lucia's representatives but not one of them has ever showed up at any of my book signings, or to respond to my letters of query," he lamented.

"Only Ross Cadasse who is the president of the Saint Lucia Association in Canada appeared at a book signing but not the Consulate-General or someone from the Consulate came."

"I am not going to stop for my aim is to play basketball at the highest level," he added.

Despite his efforts, Arnold is still experiencing hurdles in his homeland towards setting up appointments with Ministers of Government and getting replies to his letters of query.

The first Saint Lucian to play NCAA Division One basketball as a freshman; playing for the University of Vermont his stay was cut short due to a criminal accusation. He endured a rough journey over the next three years moving from one school to the next, but was able to graduate will a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Systems.

Arnold revealed that he practices six to eight hours a day, developing his skills and working on various aspects of his game. He has seeking to get into one of the European leagues, to fulfill his dreams for as he elevated to reach his goal he was brought down.

When an someone comes down the pinnacle he or she was at is quickly forgotten by persons. However as Arnold told Jen Moun, "I have been able to bounce back from rejections and that is what I want to tell young people. You can bounce back no matter what society throws at you."

In Photo above; Arnold Henry signing a book with his mother seated at his side (Photo by Robertson s Henry)

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