Thursday, January 20, 2011

GUEST POST: Tall Does Not Equal Basketball

Today, I'm proud to bring you a guest post written especially for me by The Tall One, who is the author of love and heartness.  I hope you all enjoy it!


If I had a nickel for every time someone asks, “Do you play basketball?” I would have been able to retire two years ago. It doesn’t help that I work with the public, so I get the question more often now.

I have a confession to make, and I can’t think of a better place to do it than on someone else’s blog. When I was 14, I tried out for the freshman girls basketball team. And I feel that Catherine and her wonderful readers will really appreciate the story behind it. Because I laugh every time I tell it.

It all started a few weeks before I started high school. I was feeling pretty confident in my basketball skills because I could get the ball into the hoop in my neighbors driveway. Obviously I was destined for greatness just from that.

The first day of try outs I went to the wrong gym. That should have been my first sign right there.

When I was finally in the right place, there were a few other girls I knew from elementary and middle school (I live in a small town) and was feeling really good. The coach was nice, the girls were cool, and HEY! I could actually keep up with them!

And then came the basketball part. I could hardly keep the ball in my hands and I had a zero percent chance of making any shots. Basically, I was awesome.

The second day of try-outs, the coach told the group that some of might just be considered “practice players” and not really play in the games. I knew that would be me, and I was really ok with it. I got to be a part of the team without totally embarrassing myself!

The third day of try-outs screwed me up. I caught a rebound and jammed my finger pretty hard. I had to get a little splint and everything. My under-developed mind was still really confident that I was going to make the team and be a school legend. My height would completely make up for my lack of actual skill.

After the third day, coach pulled me over and I thought she was going to tell me that I should go straight to varsity and practice play with them. Instead, her words sounded very wrong. Something about “lack of skill” and “really good try”. There may have even been a “maybe next year, after some practice”.

And just like that, I was cut from the basketball team. Three days into a five day try-out.

From time to time, the boy’s basketball coaches would stop me in the halls and ask why I wasn’t playing. And I was too embarrassed to admit I was awful, so I just told them I had to focus on school. Eventually I needed a new excuse, so I joined the cheerleading team.

Just kidding, it wasn’t for an excuse. I really did become a cheerleader. At one point, I was even co-captain for a year. Go me!

But the point of this story is that just because I’m tall does not mean I was destined to play basketball. I try to stay away from it more than anything, because I am more likely to get hurt than make any points.

My sister, on the other hand was a small town hero for her basketball skills. She’s probably still a hero for all her awesomeness on the court.

So instead of being engrossed in a sport, I was able to join the threatre department and really blossom. I should really thank her for taking the sports gene in the family; I’m sure it’s saved my poor parents from lots of hospital bills.

Sidenote: I just wanted to thank Catherine for being AWESOME and letting me do a guest post. She’s pretty ok in my book.


  1. YAY!!!

    Thank you SO MUCH for letting me guest post- you totally made my day!!

  2. I'd choose theater over contact sports any day... never had the attention span for basketball!

  3. You see...this is why I chose running as my sport. I can run slow and people are still totally impressed by the sheer distance I can cover. That and the fact that it requires absolutely NO hand-eye coordination :-)

  4. Exactly. Hand eye coordination and balance are a huge must in that sport... and I have neither.

  5. I don't think I would have thought of basketball. I would have been more along the lines of "Are you a super model?"

  6. They made you actually try out for middle school sports?! Man alive, we just made the team no matter what.

    And every time I hear that someone was a cheerleader, I have to force my mind to not think less of them. Lol The cheerleaders in our school were DISGUSTING.

  7. @Sandra you are my new favorite, no one ever asks me that. It's ALWAYS basketball. And then volleyball. And when I say no to both they just look disappointed.

    @Stacey- we were AWESOME, we were state champions, or runners up or something. I did the competition season, so it wasn't like I was just cheering on the sidelines all the time. I competed and had to learn backhandsprings and jumps and stretched my body is ways I don't even want to think about anymore...

  8. i'm short and skinny so no one actually ask me any question about sport. haha.

    btw, hello. i'm your reader from Malaysia and i just recently post an entry entitled Pirates of the Amsterdam 2. its a parody of POTC. so come by and have a look will ya? :)

  9. I played basketball grades 7-9. Then in senior year when I started dating the (truly nice) guy I had been crushing on for three years, he mentioned seeing me play in a game and feeling bad for me because I was so bad. At least at that point I could objectively agree with him.

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  11. That's great. I was always expected to play basketball just because I could jump higher than any of the other kids, but not because I could play basketball at all. In fact I was terrible for the longest time. Thankfully I finally grew into my body and could use my arms to some extent.

  12. Being tall in basketball is highly overrated anyway :) Were you the bottom of the pyramid, though? That would be the disadvantage of your height, I would think with cheerleading.

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