Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Moment


Running up and down the court trying to catch my breathe I couldn't believe that we were down by so many points, but we still had five minutes left in the game and I just knew that we could make a game of it. All we needed was some discipline and some good shooting, otherwise we might as well pack in it and go home.

Timeout.

Coach gave us some encouragement and told us that he thought we were playing really well but if we could find it in ourselves to dig a little deeper and try to get some more points and what not... I can not really remember much because I had a strange feeling over take me and I just remember being at total peace with myself and the situation. When the whistle blew, I just knew that we would come back, after all it was only twenty seven points, right?

If it is to be it is up to me was my mantra. I wanted that ball.

We took the throw in and headed down the court, I was pacing along side my point guard imploring her to give me the ball. With our team being down by so much, the other team couldn't play any defense outside the three point circle. My dad and I were just practicing those shots the other day, and I started getting pretty good at them. The secret was in the arc of the ball. You might think that you were giving it too much, yet for some reason it seemed that the higher the arc the better the shot.

My point guard decided to go to the three and see what she could do, and as she picked up her dribble, I instinctively knew that she was going to lose the ball to number fourteen. Number fourteen has been our main nemesis on this team for three years running, she is quite the athlete and I could see the ball being stripped from my team mates hand and she would be off down the court, so I started edging towards the other basket knowing full well that I would be making a defensive play very soon, or at least trying to.

Yet, I knew that I would get the ball back and bring it up court and take one of those three point shots, and I just knew that it would go in and we would be down by only twenty four points. So when number fourteen stole the ball from our number three I was already heading down the court to play defense. It was at that moment that every thing went into a slow motion mode so that I could see every flake of dust coming off of the ball and number fourteen's finger tips. I could see the way the floor actually gave way to the pressure inflicted upon it by the weight of number fourteen as she was running towards her basket. I could see the flattening of the basketball as it hit the court with a force that seemed to be much greater than I realized, with the ball flattening literally a quarter of it's own size. I could see the way number fourteen looked at me and my defensive position and thought that she had a basket for sure. I could see the over confident smirk in her face, and the twinkle of mischief in her eyes - now why I thought it was a look of mischief was beyond me, even in those moments because after all it really was just a basketball game, our first of the season, and nothing magical or dramatic would happen to us if we won, or if we lost, but it was definitely mischief and it sort of scared or startled me because I could tell that I was going to be going up against a competitor unlike any I had faced before.

I shuffled to my left to get a more direct position to make a play against number fourteen and she made a little adjustment herself. It was amazing how she altered her foot just a little to her left which made her move more to my right, yet at the same time my instincts took over and I moved to my right at the same moment. It was then that I saw concern and disbelief on number fourteens eyes and I knew that the ball was soon going to be mine and that this play was going to be the breaking point that got us started on our way towards the victory that we so desperately wanted and needed to rebuild the confidence in our own abilities. We would no longer allow number fourteen or any other player to  push us around and treat us like we didn't know what was going on. She would never again take us so lightly. She might even grow up and become my best friend, and we will be in each others weddings and be the god mothers to each others children. This moment was going to change the world.

This was my moment.

Number fourteen started to leave the ground in preparation for taking the shot...


*** Jessie asked me to write a story about basketball for my 750 words tonight - 16 minutes and 870 words later, this was what came out. - Thanks Jessie! ***