Most guys who have played sports have a mental trophy case, a Greatest Hits hallway of the mind where they keep some of the memories of favorite games or plays they were involved in.
Since I can, I will inflict such a story on you now. I can only hope I never posted about it before. It’s one thing to admit having such a trophy case, it’s another to take out the trophies and rub them in public too often.
Anyway: I’m in my early 20’s. Drop-in 5 on 5 basketball at the college gym, mostly the brothers but a couple white guys too. I am (naturally) on the second 5, the guys who did NOT make their free throws. We are shorter, we are scrubbier, we are uglier than the 5 tall, muscle-y, graceful first-teamers.
First time we break down the court, I'm open in at the baseline as the guard hits the top of the 3-pt line. He dishes it to me, and my guy lays off me because
a) we're still kind of running, and
b) I'm a white boy who appears not to be a significant factor in the world of basketball.
Anyway, I take a minimal setup and launch a high jumper from 3-pt range that hits nothing but net.
When we get the ball back, we head down the court on break #2 of the game. Again I am open on the baseline, and this time the guard feeds me right away. Again, I let go a long-range jumper that rips the net and my guy is standing there flatfooted.
After that, I could do no wrong. I played most of the rest of the game inside, blocking out, dishing elbows, pulling down boards, a couple of putbacks, a layup or two. I was not a shooting factor, but I played outside my body, and we win going away.
At the end of the game the guard slaps my hand (this was in antiquity -- pre-knuckle-touching) and says "You got a nice shot. I c'n respe't dat." Ha! Little did he know I had just put together a string of luck to produce the game of my life.
I should have just retired from the sport right then...