Hoop Dreams II

Photo by Matthew LeJune on Unsplash

I remember being in college, and it was time for intramural basketball. I put a team together, and we were slated to play a club team, and little did I know that we had a club player on our team. Or if I knew I didn’t know that an independent team couldn’t have a club player on their team. We got disqualified because the club team we were supposed to play against ratted on us.

In high school I did not go out for basketball my freshman year for whatever reason. I really don’t remember or know why I didn’t. I did go out for basketball my sophomore year, but I got cut. I had always played playground ball, so when the coaches my sophomore year started teaching us zone and man-to-man plays I couldn’t catch on fast enough to the hand signals and the particular play they represented. My junior and senior year in high school the school didn’t have cuts so I made the team, but it was so fun, and I didn’t really think about it. The coaches ran a motion offense, and we had a different motion for going against a zone and man-to-man defense.

When I got to college in the fall I walked on for my alma mater, but obviously I didn’t make it, but it was significant how much better I became my freshman year just playing pick-up. Except for that time we were disqualified intramurals was a blast. I don’t think we won it all any of the four years, but when you have a love for the game you play no matter what.

You know how life goes. You graduate college, and life happens. Slowly but surely you stop physical activity because all you really want to do is come home from work and chill. At least that’s how it was for me.

When I was a youth pastor there were those select times when I’d play with my flock, but after I started working in the marketplace that habit completely died off. It’s been lately now that I’m trying to figure out how to get back into the habit of playing at least three-on-three ball in my driveway. I’ve been caring a basketball with me everywhere I go, and sometimes there is a hoop near by where I can shoot the rock, and when time permits of course I go out into my driveway to shoot it. Some people like soccer and running. I like basketball.

It’s almost a better escape and therapy than writing. I can only imagine had I gone to more than one Coach Meyer boarding camp whether or not my basketball experience had gone to the college level. Hindsight is 20/20. I saw a magazine cover somewhere the other day that showed a picture of a man who is 100, and he still runs long distance races. It’s never too late, and I firmly believe that. I’ve got to be more sensible now that I’m older because I don’t have a 20-year-old body that bounces back faster, but to say that I’ll never play full-court basketball again would be to give into fear and a lie.

My church actually has a great gym, and I’m in the process of saving to join my alma mater’s Student Activity Center (SAC) where alumni can join.

I remember my dad playing full-court well into his 50’s. His stroke years ago and heart issues have of course limited that. That’s to be expected. My parents are nonetheless at every basketball game in Allen Arena, so our love for basketball is obvious. I left the NBA as a spectator years ago because I decided it was fixed like WWF, but I have been thinking about going back, but the jury is still out on that verdict. I’m more loyal to WNBA than I am the NBA, and Tennessee football and Cubs baseball takes up a lot of time. Lipscomb and Atlantic Sun basketball obviously occupies a large percentage of my “free-time” in the fall and winter.

Don’t quote me on this, but my brother Jeremy has helped a pro team out in Orlando. I don’t know if he has ever played in a game, but I know he’s practiced with them. It’s not the Magic. He’s not that good. His skills are way better than Joel and me, and he’s a hoss nonetheless, and his skills amaze me. When the NBA finals come around he is also glued to the television. His wife Crystal was so funny describing his passion for it when we were down there one summer.

Basketball is really serving as a healing agent to this depression. I’m really glad these thoughts have been born again from my past because not only have they gotten my mind in a better place, but I’m making connections with a part of my past when I was “normal.”

I look forward to sharing more as I take next week off.

Grace and peace beloved.

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