Monday, December 11, 2006

Glory Days

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...


At Mon Dec 11, 09:55:00 PM PST, Blogger Extrem4 said...

There is nothing quite like that feeling of being on fire when the basket seems to be 6 feet around and everything you throw up there drops in. The only bad part is for all of the days that you are "unconcious" there are a lot more days when the basket seems to be 6 inches around and nothing is going to go through that hole. You reminded me of a few good memories of some of my glory days. Ok I guess the trophies can go back into the case.

At Tue Dec 12, 08:19:00 AM PST, Blogger Alan said...

My sports glory day was a second place finish in the 100 yard dash at a track meet. Yay.

Usually just filled in where ever I could. Hurdles were the worst. Always caught a foot, and ate dirt a couple times. One point short of a letter, but they gave me one anyway (for effort I guess).

At Thu Dec 14, 12:02:00 PM PST, Blogger si said...

(decided to comment since this post is about basketball!)

wow, really impressed, bryan. especially since it was a b-ball game (which i understand) and not hockey or soccer (my understanding -- not so much).

this brought to mind the really touching story of the autistic high-school player who was allowed to play at the end of a game and was totally on fire. i think he won an ESPY (ESPN) award too for most inspirational (or something like that). and, this is not to suggest a comparison of you to him (or him to you). (hope not too un-PC.) :)

At Thu Dec 14, 12:20:00 PM PST, Blogger blogball said...

I always had this fantasy that there is actually a magic camera that has taken video of all of my great sports moments on the playgrounds, parks & fields that I have played on from 1st grade on.
Then when I die it will be edited and played back for me in slow-motion complete with dramatic sound track.
I know this movie won’t last too long but then I could just ask for the ultra slow motion option.


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