Nalei'a Brackett

High School Carlsbad High School

Sport : Basketball
RECRUITED BY : Greg Eidschun
Height : 5'6"
Weight : 130 lbs
POSITION Point Guard
2PT FG% 47%
3PT FG% 38%
FT% 30%

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My name is Nalei'a Brackett #3 Point Guard for the CIF Champion Carlsbad High School.  If you ask me to sum up the passions in my life I would be very clear - my family, making a difference in the lives of others and BASKETBALL!  I've had a rough start to my high school career but have made an enormous 180 degree turn.  I'd like to share my story with you..


Life as the new kid on the block was less than welcoming as a 9th grader.  My peers, being unaccustomed to diversity, automatically assume I’m illiterate. I am brushing my hair for people who assume it’s constantly nappy. I’m putting on makeup for people who focus on the fact that I’m dark with or without it. Although it sounds like I’m an untouchable in the heart of India, I’m a fourteen-year-old racially mixed girl in Carlsbad, California.



Carlsbad, being a predominantly white community, was unaccepting of outsiders, especially of me looking different from the average tan, blonde hair, blue-eyed children in my school. I was commonly called “Niggerlea Blackett”.  How ashamed I felt! Occasionally a girl in one of my classes would smile pitifully at me, but for the most part I was friendless.


When my freshmen year of high school came and I was accepted into a group, I jumped at the chance to belong somewhere. High school was overwhelming in itself. Then adding on social pressure and schoolwork and homework and basketball practice, I began to fall short on my academic and athletic commitments. Unfortunately, the group I joined led me away from my dream of playing collegiate basketball. I cut classes, my grades dropped, and my relationship with my family deteriorated.


             But despite the bumps, the only place I really felt at home was on the court, and on the court, I learned what mattered. The team became my group. We were a family.  I started on JV as a freshmen, was team captain and league MVP as a sophomore, and I was set as varsity starting point guard for my upcoming junior year. I went wrong relying completely on my natural talent without putting in the effort because I knew my spot as point guard was guaranteed. Mid-summer leading up to my junior year, however, a 5’10 junior point guard moved to Carlsbad High School from Sacramento. I sat sideline for the first time in my entire basketball career watching her take my spot right from under me. I despised her. The most mortifying part of it was that she deserved to take my spot. She was more than good; she was great. She was talented and she worked hard, leaving me riding the bench. I was terrified of not being good enough, but I decided to give it a try.  I was determined to earn my spot back.


            She and I were going head to head fighting for point guard. An unusual thing happened: we became friends. I knew that I wanted to keep our friendship, but I also intended to fight back for my spot. Weeks progressed and I was putting in the work to achieve my goal. I stuck to an intense routine. After school I’d go the gym, the basketball courts, practice with my team and then home at around eight to do my schoolwork. I saw improvement in my game, even as the competition between me and my competitor increased. I never thought it would be so hard to maintain a friendship and work toward my goal. While trying to balance what was on my plate, I knew it still wasn’t enough to reach my full potential. With guidance from my parents, I was able to join a travel team and was trained by a private coach. Mid-season, I earned my spot back. It was a marvelous moment. The competition between my friend and I continues, but we share the ultimate goal of a great team and a great year.  

            My future is untouchable. The strength I see in myself is an outcome of overcoming my struggles. Although those ones are over, there will still be more challenges to face. But fear no longer holds me down. I will push through and I will come out stronger than ever. Hope has grown within me to be better; to accept who I am but always push myself to be the best I can be. With my new found strength and hope I am no longer miserable. I have learned by accepting my past and using it to better my future that I decide what I’m worth and what I’m capable of.  


            The main thing I've learned through my experience is to fight for what I believe, and quite frankly, what I refused to believe in was myself. I didn’t believe I deserved confidence in myself or my goals. I didn’t understand that a positive mindset equals a positive outcome. Now I have learned to believe in what I want to achieve. My past goals were met and now I have a new one, to go to a great college and represent them as a stand out collegiate basketball player. Now why would I benefit your school? Why should you accept me? I believe I would be a great asset to any school because I have found the strength and hope to believe and create positivity  for myself and others. Please tell me I can’t do something because I will prove you wrong. Like many other students I know, I have traveled a bumpy road to get where I am today, but those obstacles gave me strength and helped me appreciate the truly important things in life. I carry my scars like badges of honor. I know how it felt to feel weak and empty, but I also know I will never go down that path again. My future will be set around strength and optimism. I have been lead and am know understanding my potential and the importance of being a leader. Everyone deserves the strength and the hope to believe in themselves and from past experience, I know how hard that can be on your own. My pursuit in life is to encourage and support as many as possible in achieving what they never thought they could. Having a huge heart for helping others is a major reason why I would love to study Journalism.  I want to express my emotion and passion to others to hopefully lead others to a more worldly understanding.


            Despite my lackluster grades during my first three years in high school, I have turned around substantially both academically and in my basketball career.  I have numerous credible sources that can attest to my character, work ethic and determination for success for both myself and those in my circle of influence.  Thank you for taking the time to know my story. 



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