Thursday, April 3, 2014

Playing Basketball

I grew up playing basketball as well as baseball as far as organized sports. Also, I played tennis and football around the neighborhood.

I started playing basketball in fifth grade. Like most kids that age the regulation height of basket was too high to shoot with a regular basketball so had a lower basket height of eight feet.  In fifth and sixth grade played basketball during PE and recess most of the time. Also, did some shooting in the front yard at home.

In the seventh grade I went out, and made the school basketball team. I was the twelfth player on the team so I didn’t play a lot except when the game was a blowout.  Into the season the coach spoke with me knowing that I was frustrated by the lack of playing time.  He wanted me to know that I was better than other boys who were not on the team at all. For someone who is competitive and loves to play not what I really wanted to hear.  I knew that I was not that good but I thought I was at least as good as a few players who played more than I did.

  When I tried out for the basketball team in eighth, ninth, and ten grades I was the last guy cut from the squad. Talk about being frustrated, however, I was persistent for those three years.  I didn’t try out eleventh or twelfth grades because I figured there were younger players that gave me less of a chance to make the team.  What frustrated me the most was the coaches said that other players had more potential than I did, and not better than me.  What is that with potential!  Of course, in those days there was not the three point line in baseball, but I think if there was one I would make the teams because I had a good outside shot. I know that I didn’t have the talent to start but at least good enough to come off the bench.

We had a basketball hoop at home so I did do a lot of practicing to get better. Usually I pretended that the Seattle Supersonics were playing the Boston Celtics who were NBA champions, and I made sure the Sonics always won.  I wasn’t that good of a foul shooter either so I did a lot of foul shooting as well.  

I really enjoyed playing basketball as well as baseball. As an athlete I considered myself being at least average if not a little above average.  Being competitive I was at the top.  Whatever sport I played I did it at full force. I was above average as far as speed goes as well which helped me out. 

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