For The Love Of The Game

We weren’t much of a sports family growing up. I was the only person in the house really interested in sports at all. This meant I watched a lot of Ohio State football on a black and white TV in the basement. When my grandparents, who liked baseball, moved in with us I would watch Reds games with them. And when it came to actually playing sports, it was even worse. No one ever really taught me the fundamentals of sports, so I would do my best to pick up what I could. My dad did buy my one of those baseball practicing things that wrapped around a pole so when you’d hit the ball it would come back to you. But our basement really never had the height where I could swing a bat without hitting the heating duct, so I was afraid to use it. I’m not whining here. I had a great childhood that I wouldn’t trade for anything. It’s just that I was never very good at sports until near the end of my college days. You know how there’s that point in a child’s life where they finally get their coordination? Yeah, I got mine at age 19. Fortunately now, none of these people I play sports with know how truly horrendous I was while growing up.

Um . . . except for basketball.

This morning I woke up before dawn and headed down to CCU to play basketball with some guys there [I’d much rather save the half hour drive and play in our gym here at church, but there are never enough guys to get games going]. If you’ve ever seen me on the court you can testify to this: I can’t play basketball. I to this day have never learned how to shoot- I use a two-handed jump shot. I shoot more like a girl than Kelly does. People who don’t know me stare at me when I shoot and then ask if I’m serious. I swear, I’ve tried to learn the “proper form” but it’s pointless. I’m too far gone to try to fix it now.

Regardless of my dumb-looking shot, I still love to play and refuse to let it keep me down. The one redemptive thing is that basketball allows you to make up for it through hustle and defense; even at 29, I can outrun some of these college guys with my speed. But it’s still demoralizing to shoot as poorly as I do. Reflecting on my performance this morning, I’ve decided to share my shooting line from this morning with you so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about. We played 3 games to ten points a game, counting field goals as one point and 3-pointers as two.

4 for 11 shooting, 0 of 2 from behind the three point line. Two turnovers.

Yeah, pretty bad, especially considering that 3 of those misses were lay-ups. I did cause six turnovers and I made about six rebounds. But of course, this is pick-up basketball, so I guess I’m a loser for even telling you. But no matter how bad I suck, I’m gonna keep going out there, fearlessly embarrassing myself. Because I’ve got spirit. Yes I do. I’ve got spirit. How ‘bout you?