Yesterday I drove to my Dad's school for the student vs. faculty basketball game. I was running a little late so when I walked into the gym and saw the entire stands filled with middle school kids screaming I must say I was a little nervous. This is the gym where I grew up practicing basketball. I would come with my dad while he worked and I would practice for hours and hours by myself. I put black tape on the walls and practiced behind the back passes—trying to hit the tape with every pass. It's where I developed my hesitation move, my crossover, and even my buzzer beater celebration. (I only got to use that celebration one time in my life but at least I was ready) I would keep practicing, I would play full court games by myself. I would pretend I was a different person each time up the court, I would block my own shots and steal my own passes. I look back at it now and I used to have the craziest games by myself—Triple OT games and even buzzer beaters with no buzzer. I would practice for hours, go see what my dad was up to and then go back to the gym for more practice. I loved it. I lived for it. Well there I was 23 years old, back in the gym that I grew up in 10 years ago.
The faculty started the game off hot and never looked back. The middle school team seemed intimidated by these huge men bulldozing their way to the basket. My favorite play of the game was when I got the ball off the rebound dribbled down the court did a few moves through the lane and kicked it to my dad on the wing. He pulled the ball up, perfect form(the form he taught me many years ago) and drained the jumper. He looked at me, smiled and gave me the good pass face. I smiled and gave him the good shot face. I turned around and jogged back, laughing the whole way. I never thought I'd be playing in a basketball game with my dad. We ended up winning the game pretty bad but that wasn't what made it for me. It was because I got to play with my dad—who taught me everything and showed me how to do it all when I was younger, the fact that we were playing together...that's what made it so euphoric.