Athletes Count on Numbers for Personal Reflection

We are all identified by numbers: phone numbers, street addresses, tax I.D. numbers.

At colleges and universities you’re usually only known by your social security or school I.D. number.

Most of the time you’re given these numbers, and they mean nothing to you.
But when you’re an athlete, picking the number that’s going to be on the back of your jersey could be one of the most important and arduous decisions of your life.

There are many factors that go into choosing your number.

You could choose your lucky number, a number for religious or superstitious reasons, a completely random number, or even a number based on tradition.

‘I picked my number [20] because it was my high school coach’s number when she was in high school,’ said women’s basketball player Angela Guiu. ‘She passed away of breast cancer during one of our seasons, so I wear it in memory of her.’

An athlete’s number distinguishes them from the rest of their team, and it can very well affect their performance during the game.’ ‘

‘Brittney and I have been number six and nine since we were young, so those numbers are really important to us,’ said athlete Courtney Evans, describing her and her twin sister Brittney Evan’s soccer numbers.

‘We’re just so comfortable with six and nine that I’m not really sure how we would play if we were any other numbers,’ Evans added.

The number an athlete wears on their jersey tells a story of their life and usually something significant that has happened in it.’

Since an athlete is associated by the number they wear, they like to choose one that is meaningful to them.

A lot of older athletes’ current numbers are based off the numbers they wore when they first started playing sports.’

‘In little league the jersey numbers ran from one to 20, with one being the smallest. I was one of the smaller kids, so I chose number five,’ said baseball player John Carrick.
‘Then I hit a growth spurt so I decided to double that number to 10. Then as a seventh grader I made the eighth grade baseball team; I thought I was a big timer after that so I figured I should double my number again, so I picked 20. I started playing really bad then ended up breaking my wrist, so I went back to number 10, and have been that ever sense,’ Carrick explained.

‘ Shelby Kuni can be reached at

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