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This I Believe - Episode 18

Brian Crupi
Brian Crupi is a 17-year-old junior at Guilderland High School. He is a very active kid who love sports; his favorite sport is basketball. Basketball--and more specifically a basketball teammate of his--inspired him to write about his belief in living every day to the fullest.

Living Every Day to the Fullest

By Brian Crupi

I believe in living every day to the fullest because you never know which one will be your last.

Eddie Stanley had been a teammate and friend of mine for the two years we played on the Albany City Rocks together. Eddie was an outstanding player who most thought was the best one on our team. Our 2011 season came to an end with a tournament in the Bronx. Our coach dropped off Eddie at what he was told was a cousins house. The next day I received a text from my other coach reading there is some terrible news, Eddie was shot and killed last night. Rereading the message over and over I still could not believe the shocking news.

After reading about what had happened and finding out everyone had heard the same news, I realized what I couldn’t believe was true. Our team tried to deal with the situation as best we could. We had a few days to ourselves before we had a team meeting. We shared our favorite memories of Eddie and all received a bracelet in memory of him. We then attended his wake as a team. Although the news of losing a friend and teammate is implausible, what I really couldn’t believe was how old Eddie was and the cause of his death. After investigation it was confirmed that the 15-year-old, Eddie Stanley, was killed by a 31-year-old man from Brooklyn. The 31-year-old shut down a house party in Schenectady accusing the partygoers of stealing his keys. After he still did not receive his keys he opened fire shooting Eddie five times in the chest. Once I heard this story all I could think was what person shoots somebody over a set of keys. Especially somebody who shouldn’t have been at the party in the first place.

After grieving over the loss I began to think of a few things. One thing was how this experience shows we don’t know when our last day will be. Since we don’t know when we may die, we have to live each day to the fullest which is something Eddie defiantly did do. Eddie lived everyday with a giant smile on his face. When most people shared what they will remember about Eddie it was his huge smile. Eddie loved having a good time with jokes or pranks he would do to people. The only time I may have not seen Eddie smile was on the basketball court. This was only because he played with so much passion. He gave every game everything he had and was one of the most unselfish players. He played every game to the fullest just how he went about everyday.

Eddie had a bright future ahead of him with colleges already after him for basketball. A few days before his death he got a tattoo reading “ball is my ticket out of the hood”. Basketball most likely would have been his ticket out of the rough area he lived in. The environment Eddie lived in did not stop him from living everyday to the fullest and striving for his goals which I will remember about him forever.

I believe in taking every opportunity you can in life, and not being afraid to push your limits to achieve happiness. I try to make the most out of everyday just like Eddie Stanley.


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