Saturday, April 16, 2005

Age Group Basketball

I last played basketball against an opponent who was significantly younger than me ten years ago. Drywall was taking a break from recording at Rubber Room Studios, a home studio in the Indianpolis suburb of Lawrence. On our break we ran into three pre-teens playing basketball down the street from the studio. Since there were three of us (two of us were 18, the other 17), we challenged them to a game. And we lost. (I assure you, however, that it was a close game.

This morning, as I was breaking from some intense yard work, I shot some baskets with our ten-year-old neighbor, Maria. Before long, her six-or-seven-year-old brother, Nick, came out and challenged me to a game of one-on-one on their eight-and-a-half-foot goal. Nick was young enough and small enough, that I had complete control of the game and tried to give him as many opportunities to score or steal the ball as possible without making it look like I was letting him score or steal the ball.

As we played, we came to an agreement that I should not dribble the ball low to the ground or between my legs, but should be lax enough in my dribbling that Nick could legitimately challenge me on defense. The high, slow dribbling style I adapted allowed Nick to make some key defensive stops and get back into the game. Then, coming off an easy rebound, I decided to give Nick (who was putting on the pressure) a chance to force a turnover. Unfortunately, by bouncing the ball high and in his general direction, I bounced the ball right into his nose. And, his nose started bleeding.

So, we ended the game, I got Nick a wet washcloth, and, as soon as his nose started bleeding, he hopped on his bike and rode away.

This deed will require penance.


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