Today I am grateful for basketball.
In the past, mostly the past month, I feel certain that I have informed you that I am not a good basketball player. Once upon a time I thought I was a good player, I had confidence and all that jazz. Playing on a real league this fall has shown me that...well, that maybe I'm not as good as I thought. It was like this when I played ball with the guys on Thursday nights...there are not many girls who can play competitively on a guys level, it's just not possible, no constitutional amendments or equal opportunity legal jargon can change this fact. It doesn't help that the extent of my basketball career was always playing low stakes ball with church girls in a cultural hall (pardon the rhyming).
Anyway, so this "season" I haven't really felt the sport, if you know what I mean. I'm more than happy to sit it out if there is someone who really wants to play (very unlike how I am with church ball when I want to play the whole game).
I tell you this because this week was different. We had two games this week, the first was Monday night and it was fun! I played the whole first half, I got a few steals, got a foul (even though I ran into the guy, they called the foul on him - I love co-ed sports), and I just felt good. We won - which always helps to boost the good feelings.
Last night I was just hoping I could feel the same way cause I liked feeling good about it instead of apathetic. I feel like I played okay, I stayed out of the way. But sometimes I felt like my upper body strength was dismal. I don't know if the passes I got were hard or if my hands are flimsy or what. We were totally beating the other team, so I didn't worry about the game and I just had fun running up and down the court and used the time to practice my defense (church ball will be starting in a month after all).
In the second half Katie (I know you're reading) called a time out when Chris R. had the ball. We walk over to her and she says, "Jessica needs to make a basket." (By the way - I haven't made a basket the whole season). I really didn't need to embarrass myself, I had already tried a shot from directly beneath the basket which had gone up and over the basket in a large arch...that's embarrassing, I didn't need more of that. But everyone who heard her agreed that I needed to. I kept insisting that I didn't need to and one person turned and said, "I'll be looking for you every time, open or not." ...yeah, we were ahead by that much. So I got a little nervous, tried to hide behind the opponents and avoid getting passed the ball. Chris passed me the ball, I put it up, and it hit the rim and fell away. At least it touched the rim. Then a few moments later the ball was in my hands again, I dribbled (which, by the way, when I dribble I picture myself looking like a 12-year-old girl learning to dribble for the first time - if you have seen this phenomenon, you know what I think of my dribbling skills), turned and put the ball up. ...the rest of the story is told through my adrenaline pumped perspective. The sound of the ball going through the net was crisp and clear. No one could hear the ball bounce against the court floor because at that same time the crowd jumped to their feet and the sound of their cheering drowned out all other sounds. This was the greatest shot in the game...(ahem - except for Clint's buzzer shot at the end of the first half. The shot that people take haphazardly, not expecting it to go in and on rare occasions it does and everyone stands in awe).
Okay - back to reality. But seriously, I heard the ball go through the net and I heard a loud, collective cheer from my team. Their little one was growing up so fast, she finally made a basket. The cheer sounded louder than the 7 people it could have possibly come from. It felt good, but despite the fact that it felt good the first words to come out of my mouth were, "Okay, can we stop this now!" I didn't want the ball anymore, I made my basket, I reached my goal. Didn't stop the ball from coming my way a few more times, but I feel pretty confident that each time I just passed it off to someone else.
All in all - a good game with a good team. Can't wait for the tournament.