I’m a three time back-to-back-to-back basketball champion. If you saw me, you would probably laugh at that assertion. I’m 5’4 in shoes. Whenever I hit the courts, I’m probably one the shorter guys there.
So now you’re probably thinking, that I have the skills. Funny thing is, I suck. I suck monkey balls. I can’t shoot. First time I played, I airballed my first shot – two feet away from the ring. I can’t pass. I’m more liable to turn it over to my opponent. I can’t even dribble properly. That is something short players should have down pat yet I somehow end up dribbling on my shoes half of the time. I’m also really near sighted and I can’t see a thing when I take off my glasses. I wear these old skool Horace Grant goggles just to be able to see.
I chalk it up to me just learning to play the game three years ago. The company I used to work for holds annual basketball tournaments and yearly, to make things competitive, they draft all of the players. Guess who was drafted last? That’s right. Me.
The thing is, basketball is serious business in my company. You’d think that we were professional basketball players the way some of us competed. So I don’t end up embarrassing myself, I tried learning how to play. With epically disastrous results. First game I ever played, I had committed five fouls and no points.
It’s not that I was completely useless on the court. Thanks to years of being a gym rat, I am more physically fit than most guys. What I lack in skill, I make up for with enthusiasm and energy. I watched this basketball Anime series when I was a kid called Slam Dunk and one of the lessons they taught stuck with me forever. Control the rebound and you control the game.
So that’s what I did. I rebounded. I chased after every loose ball. I boxed out every time someone went for a shot. I grabbed every ball I could put my hands on. I’m a certified ball grabber. I may be short but you would have to fight to keep me off the block. I won’t say that I’m the best rebounder in the game, but if you grab four rebounds at every game and your the second shortest guy there, I think that’s more than decent.
And because I don’t get tired at all, I defend the opposing team’s best player. I hound the other guy and just chase him all over the court. Though I end up fouling a lot, what happens is that the other player gets so tired that he can’t play his game. So I basically play the role of the annoying bug that everyone wants to slap but somehow won’t go away.
I also believe that everything can be improved. When I got drafted, nearly everyday I would go to the court and practice my ass off. I would do basic drills that they teach little kids in basic basketball camp. If you saw a twenty something guy in basketball goggles doing the Mikan drill over and over in one of the courts in the south, that was probably me. If the guy was handsome, that was most definitely me (snort chuckle chuckle).
I studied YouTube videos on how to shoot properly, defend properly, even run properly. Steadily, game by game, I improved. When I started, I didn’t even score a single time in my first season. My third season, I had improved so much that I could score a whopping two points a game (snort chuckle chuckle).
I also pride myself in doing the little things. I would cheer for my team mates like a love crazed school girl. Every score, every great play I would celebrate at the bench. If things were not going well, I would try to lighten up the mood. I played waterboy whenever someone was thirsty. If someone was hurt, I would carry them off the court. And before and after every game, I would lead the team in prayer, win or lose.
In the end, even though I didn’t do much on the floor, I would like to think that I contributed something to those three championships. Sometimes, it isn’t your skill and talent that gets you victory. Most of the time it boils down to one thing – effort. I may be weak, and I know that, but what matters is giving your all everytime, no matter who you are.
This is my last post for Jacqueline’s qoutes challenge.
I won’t be nominating anybody else. Feel free to join in! 😊