What’s In a Number?

To an athlete, a jersey number can mean everything. What seems like something so meaningless; so small, can mean so much to a person. It can represent a hardship in the past, or portray who they want to be seen as in the future. A jersey number can mean anything and everything.

Personally, I have worn the number 1 on my back ever since I knew what a sport even was. The choice was passed down from my uncle, who played Minor League baseball within the Texas Rangers organization. Despite his incredible amount of hard work and effort, John Michael was never able to reach the Major Leagues a goal he had set ever since he was a kid.

I use this number to drive myself… To remind myself to never stop working at achieving what I want to achieve. To never let myself quit right before I can achieve my goals. Now I’m not saying that I plan on playing professionally in any sports, but the number 1 symbolizes so much for me, as small as it may seem.

Often when choosing a jersey number, it is about the personal hardships one has conquered throughout their career. Former NBA point guard Gilbert Arenas chose number 0 to recognize those hardships, and to represent himself overcoming them. According to Complex.com, “Agent Zero” chose number 0 to remind him of all the doubters who claimed that he would get 0 minutes of playing time when he got to the University of Arizona, where he ended up thriving, eventually earning himself an early second round draft pick and an extremely successful 13 year NBA career.

While some may believe that most players will choose a number simply because it looks cool, they are mistaken. Each and every athlete has their own story behind the number on their back, what’s yours?


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