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.