The snap of a basketball net is one of the sounds I enjoy in life. After I've lifted weights in the early morning hours, I often shoot hoops in the gym for a few minutes then head to the showers. I love to hear that snap as often as I can produce it. It means the ball is just kissing the net as it drops through.
My hometown is part of basketball country. I've watched it from the first grade on. Uncle JD would take me to games with him sometimes, which was always a treat. Uncle JD watched those boys play throughout his life and he lived a long time. He must've been the Florien Blackcats' biggest fan! We talked about those Blackcats even when he was in the nursing home. That's how avid a fan Uncle JD was. He was a precious man!
Several years ago a maintenance hand's son challenged me to a pickup game at the Natrona Heights YMCA. He was trying to get on the basketball team at his school, since he was heading into his freshman year. He was taller than me by about an inch and heavier by about 50 lbs. We'd been shooting baskets for awhile and chatting, while his parents lifted. We decided to play to 10 points.
I didn't care who won. In my book, it was a friendly pickup game with a kid. I was glad he didn't mind playing with a woman about 25 years his senior. Most boys don't want to be seen with any adult let alone on a basketball court with one at a highly frequented gym.
He must've thought I was easy pickin's and would make short work of me. He found I wasn't so easy and began to taunt me on the court. He ratcheted up his game a little but that didn't have the desired effect either. I still wasn't taking it seriously. It was a game with a co-worker's son. Why would I want to be too serious? He was a kid and I am not a basketball player.
The boy ramped up his aggressiveness again, which surprised me some but didn't offend me. Then, he took it to another level. He was playing so rough I twisted my ankle. It hurt but stubbornness set in and I was determined to make short work of him. What began as a friendly game was serious. He made no more points afterwards and I made just about every shot to reach 10 points quickly.
When I got home, the ankle was swollen and lightly bruised requiring ice baths for the next week and a half.
And the boy? He never challenged me to another pickup game. I guess he learned to not play with someone who enjoys the sound of the pop of the net.
I have spent years in the bowels of manufacturing plants helping to bring numerous products to market that touch virtually every aspect of life.
|Pamela Quillin, P.E.