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Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
I've been playing a lot of basketball at the JCC this summer. Because I usually go straight into a game, I haven't improved my shot much. But I'm doing a better job at some things. For one, my lateral movement has definitely picked up. I'm still slow, mind you -- always was, always will be -- but at least I'm not getting beat off the dribble quite as egregiously as I was a month or two ago.

Today I took another step up, consenting to join the "real" game -- a series of contests to fifteen, to be precise -- that takes place there every Saturday afternoon. That meant playing full court, which doesn't bother me that much, and covering a teenager who was way faster than I ever dreamed of being. More intimidating still, the game featured some of the JCC's premier pick-up players, including former U of A basketball player Corey Williams -- read about his 1994 Final Four performance here -- who plays professionally in Belgium and is a lithe 6' 7" and Rodney Smith, who was one of the standouts in the inaugural season of our Pro-Am League at the JCC and who, as this photo from the Pro-Am dunk contest attests, can really sky for someone about my height:

I didn't play very well. The action was loose -- most of the guys had been at it for over an hour -- and not suited to my style of play, which is to compensate for my innumerable failings by setting delicious blind-side picks. Because both Williams and Smith were on my team, however, I was at least spared the ignominy of getting dunked on repeatedly. There was one time when I went up for a rebound and Williams came from nowhere to beat me to it, but I avoided getting crushed by a few inches.

I did have a few mention-worthy moments, though. I went to set a pick for Williams, who was trash-talking his defender throughout the game, but he waved me off saying -- in the flow of play, naturally -- "If you set a screen for me, he'll whine and say I didn't beat him." On the other hand, I set a nice pick for Smith at the top of the key and he used it. The highlight by a hundred miles, however, was when I received a nice pass just inside the free throw line and made a pretty bounce pass to Smith on the right block, who leapt up -- no running leap this, since he was stationary -- and dunked the ball with one hand over his head.

I've never fed anyone for a dunk before and may never do it again, so please let me live in the glow of this miniscule glory for a day or two. It'll do me a world of good.

Mode: proud?
Muse: Subsi Kuku - Max Tundra - Some Best Friend You Turned Out To Be

3 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 8th, 2004 05:21 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I caught a good many of those Summer Pro League Sunday games and the talent was incredible. My old basketball near brushes with greatness included watching my high school pals getting torched by Mike Bibby and Richard Jefferson.

siyeh From: siyeh Date: August 8th, 2004 05:31 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Sounds way more exciting than EH's soccer games! Maybe I'm watching the wrong prof play!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 8th, 2004 06:27 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
But he scores, regularly and beautifully. I just make people run into me and fall down. The bruises on my torso afterward, however, do have an S+M lite quality. . . :-)
3 comments or Leave a comment