By Paige Carswell
Staff reporter

On one hand, it would have saved me the embarrassment of the time I shot the ball over the backboard. It also would have eliminated the 500 times I air balled a shot during a game, the time I tripped over my left foot when I was going in for a layup and the numerous travel and double dribble calls.

On the other hand, I would never have shot a ball over the backboard.

For only $150, a simple DNA swab test could have proven to both me and my parents that basketball was just not my sport.

And though it isn’t to that point yet, Atlas Sports Genetics has a test that parents are hoping can predict a child’s athleticism—whether it be sprinting or running the mile. The test looks for the ATC3 gene, which was discovered to have a link to athleticism in 2003. Atlas employees aren’t pretending it’s a tell-all, but it’s fun to think about the possibilities there may be someday in this genetic testing.

From the moment I strapped on my basketball shoes and pranced down the court like a champ in the third grade, something was obviously off about my basketball skills. I was sent to basketball camps and practices, I played on teams and summer leagues, but in the end, I was just the “sort of fast girl who tries really hard.”

But, thinking back, some of my best memories are on that court, like the layups barely going in as I ran as fast as I could, just trying to stay away from the wrath of the 6’ girls on the other team.

I’m sure everyone has a generally epic fail that they tell over and over, whether it be trying to play basketball, a musical instrument or even just tag. And, I hate to sound like a parent (especially mine) when I say, “It builds character,” but where would I be if I hadn’t squeaked my saxophone so badly one day in a concert?

With genetic testing, I would never have GOTTEN to experience the embarrassment that comes with getting hit in the butt with a volleyball during a game (don’t ask), or being lapped in the 400 meter dash (only a slight exaggeration).

I ended up excelling at track, but in order of the “fun ranking,” track is somewhere near the bottom, right under “fly swatting” and “chasing a Frisbee.”

As embarrassing as it was, sometimes, basketball and volleyball gave me a good sense of where I actually stood in the world of sports, which wasn’t at the top. I think it would be good for every professional tennis player to lose at a one-on-one game of basketball to a 10-year-old, or for a world-class high jumper to have to strap on the football cleats for a day.

Here’s to you, genetic testing, but a failed activity is someone everyone should have to just suffer through.

Paige Carswell is a senior majoring in journalism. You may e-mail her at