I’ve come to realize that I’ve been somewhat of a hypocrite.

I started 9INE POINT as media company and platform to inspire athletes to be real and authentic by sharing their stories, but I have been scared to share my athletic journey.


And I get it. Being vulnerable is scary, letting people inside walls that we put up to protect ourselves from being exploited is real. Fan-driven sports media platforms make us out to be invincible creatures, so how would it look talking about my flaws, weakness, or how I’ve overcome them?

It makes you look real! Someone other athletes can relate too.

Despite what others may think we are more than just athletes. We are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, scholars, activists, the list goes on but most importantly we’re human. We go through real life things just like everyone else.

Where My Story Starts

For me, my story started when I faced my first stint of adversity when I tore my ACL my senior year of high school. As a 17 year athlete, this situation made me depressed.

Low-key I thought my life was over, so much of my life was planned around athletics especially college.

Plus at the time, you weren’t hearing any stories about athletes overcoming ACL tears and making it back. I didn’t think I would even be able to go to college let alone afford it.

This story continued when I walked on to the track team at the University of Oklahoma after recovery from my ACL tear in six months instead of the recommended nine.

I wanted it so bad, to prove people wrong that said I couldn’t be a D-I athlete after the injury. But that season wasn’t God’s plan, I pulled my hamstring 3 days before the first meet at practice and was cut from the team.

But who am I to talk about my shortcomings? Who wants to hear my story? I was an under-recruited athlete that didn’t make the cut for the OU track team his freshman year.

I still think that way today sometimes, if I am honest. The truth is our stories are so important. Hearing our journey could be the motivation some athlete needs that is going through something similar.

I’m no Olympian. I’m wasn’t even an All-Conference, but I am a former walk-on student-athlete. A walk-on that overcame tearing an ACL, being cut from the team his freshman year but ultimately walked-on again the next season and made the team getting to achieve his dream of competing as Division-I student-athlete.

At those moments of what felt like defeat I wish I could have read stories like this. Stories to help me understand how another athlete overcame similar anxieties and situations like I was going through at that time. To know I wasn’t alone.

Athletes Need Your Story

My story may not be the inspiration a 5-star recruit needs to keep pushing, but your journey could be.

Think about your younger self, what stories would you tell him or her to overcome the battles and victories you experienced?

Again I get it. Putting yourself out there can be challenging and uncomfortable. The community here at 9INE POINT is here to support and encourage you to be authentic about your athletic journey without any judgment. We are Athlete-Driven.

Why can’t your story be the inspiration another athlete needs to keeping moving towards their dreams.

Let’s do our part to help current athletes and the next generation by being real by what it truly means to be an athlete. What story do you want to share?

Jacolby Gilliam

Jacolby is the founder and publisher of 9INE POINT Mag. As a former walk-on, he realized there are so many athletes with stories that are not being heard or told for various reasons. 9INE POINT Mag was born, as a platform to help athletes and those that support them share their stories and journey, regardless of your NCAA division, playing status, pro or semi-pro. Jacolby feels that every athlete has a journey that can inspire other athletes in the midst of theirs.
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