I loved seeing how many baskets I could make in a row. My dad marked the free throw line for me on the driveway, and I would practice my "rainbow arc" (as PE teacher Mr. Emory called it) until my arms hurt. I perfected the granny squat and what I termed "the toilet bowl." (When the ball spun around the rim until FLUSH! it went in or... well, always disapointedly, popped out.)
I also remember in elementary school collecting NBA basketball trading cards with my Dad. We'd spend hours organizing them, determining what players we were missing and studying stats. We'd have family nights of watching the game on tv and eating lots of pizza. I learned to appreciate the sport. I could follow the announcer! I knew what the numbers meant that flashed on the TV screen!
Of course, this was also during Trail Blazer Rip City time. It was all about Mercy Kersey and Clyde the Glide and Duckworth and Robinson and his famous, red sweatband. My sister and I made our mom take us to Mall 205 to get autographs of our favorite players. We, of course, had the full set of collector Blazer cups from Dairy Queen.
My first Blazer game was Blazers versus the Golden State Warriors... with my family, of course. We made big signs that we prayed would get to be on tv. We wore matching red sweaters. And the Blazers won! I distinctly remember leaving the Memorial Colisuem (no Rose Garden yet) and saying loudly for the world to hear with Blazer pride, "Watch out Warriors, you mess with the bull you get the horns!" Seriously!
I joined the basketball team in sixth grade. At the time, I was one of the tallest girls in the school. (Go puberty!) So, I was a natural forward. I probably would have continued playing basketball competitively, but we moved out to Damascus before my seventh grade year and I wimped out at trying sports at the new school. Seventh grade was also my most geeky year of school. Trying out for sports was not on my list of things to do; reading Anne of Green Gables and crushing on the boy who looked like Keanu Reeves was. Besides, I really didn't possess the natural basketball talent. I just liked playing for fun.
In high school, basketball was all about getting close time with the boys. My girlfriends and I quickly discovered that if we invited boys over to watch a basketball game (since we had good cable, and they (we assumed) didn't) they would always come over. The fact we barely watched the games when they came over was usually forgotten. They (the boys) also liked to play basketball with us. Though they would get annoyed with me for asking if we could play "that Change Game." (Not really a game, just what guys naturally do when shooting hoops together, apparently.)
When I was at Seattle Pacific freshman year, and needed to escape from homework and boy drama (of course), I would find my way to the basketball court at Ashton Hall and dribble away all my troubles. There is something about the feel of the ball in your hands, the sound of it hitting the court, the sweet satisfaction when you run for a lay up and it goes in! And maybe I didn't look like Michael Jordan doing it, but it didn't really matter.
So, today I was at work (at the church) and two of the pastors were reminiscing about their boyhood memories of playing basketball and discussing their current morning games they play with other nearby pastors. It really made me miss playing. I don't even own a basketball right now. I doubt I'd last very long playing a real game either. Haha.
I have been asking God to reveal to me things that I love to do that isn't being a workaholic at the church or watching America's Next Top Model on a beautiful sunny day or playing Scrabulous. ;) Ultimately, so I can get out and have fun doing what I enjoy... I know hiking, backpacking, and camping are on the list... but I had forgotten basketball. Really must get myself a basketball soon... I think there's a hoop at the church... ;)