I love basketball. This was my favorite sport to play and I still enjoy watching the game at all levels. There’s something so unique and special about the sport that got my hooked when I first picked up a ball and still has me attached over thirty years later.
Basketball is one sport you can practice by yourself and you don’t need anyone else. All you need is a ball and a hoop. You can practice all kinds of shots and dribbling for hours on end.
I love basketball because there’s so much strategy involved. In no other sport can you call a timeout with 1.2 seconds left and create a play (and execute it like UNC did to tie the game we were at vs Ohio State to force overtime.) The final minute or two of a close game takes ten minutes or more because of all the timeouts and fouls.
Basketball is intense. It’s physical. Fans are close to the court. It can be loud. It creates a fun atmosphere. And it’s indoors! You can go to a game and not have to worry about the weather like you do with soccer and baseball.
Even though I just mentioned indoors being one of the best things about it, I was outside yesterday when the love of the game and how much I miss playing hit me hard.
Chase’s coach texted he and his son were going to be shooting at the courts at a local park if anyone from the team wanted to stop by. It was close to 60 degrees and amazing out so I brought Chase and Shane to the park. While Chase was over playing with some teammates Shane and I were over on another court. Shane still has trouble reaching regular baskets since he’s only 6 so he shot some but then got tired.
Now I had surgery on one breast last week so I had to be careful on one side. But with a ball in my hand on this outdoor court I started shooting one handed. (Fortunately my right side is fine and I’m right handed). And once I started shooting I couldn’t stop. It was so fun and relaxing and I felt like I was in my own world. Just me and the hoop.
It’s not just basketball where you can enter this magical comfort zone. I’ve felt this way swimming laps, running, throwing pitches. But it’s been such a long time that I’ve shot hoops and it was such a release and outlet I realized just how much I missed the simple activity of shooting a basketball over and over.
Chase and his team finished by playing my all time favorite game, Knockout. In this game players line up one behind the other at the foul line and the first two in line have a ball. The person in front shoots then the person behind them tries to make it and knock them out before they make it. No matter what age I was I always loved lining up to play this game. So it was fun watching the excitement of him and his teammates as they played.
There is something so special about this sport that hooks me and sucks me in. I would love to coach but with five young kids it’s not really possible. But I can watch my kids play, watch NBA and college (which is my favorite) on TV and occasionally in person like we did at MSG. While I no longer play, the game is still in me and I don’t think it will ever fade away. Once a baller, always a baller.
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