Sunday, November 22, 2009

The big K.O.

Basketball was not a sport in which I excelled, nor am I ashamed to admit it. There’s no sense in lying about it. Anyone that has ever seen me with a roundball immediately came to that conclusion. You’ve heard the old expression about walking and chewing gum at the same time Well, it could apply to me where running and dribbling are concerned. Those two things I could never do with any degree of accuracy. I could never shoot, either. I just couldn’t get the basketball to go through that round sphere with any degree of consistency.

The easiest way to explain it: I sucked. I only played one real game of basketball ever in my life. Oh, I’ve gotten out and pretended to dribble and shoot with my daughter -- when she was only a small child. That was the only time I towered over her. Once, with the emphasis on ONCE, in high school I played a game of intramural basketball. I don’t even remember what the occasion was, if it was some sort of Charity game, or what, but Garry Ritzkey was the coach. Garry was my age and later in college was my roommate. Maybe the coaches were having to choose players, or something. I don’t know. Garry probably had to choose me, because I was the only kid left. Anyway, he put me in at some point in the game. I can’t think of a good reason why I was playing basketball. Garry put me in for defensive purposes, I guess, because he told me to foul Don Lewis every chance I could. See, Don couldn’t shoot free throws with any degree of accuracy, either. Don was a burley type, and a pretty good football player. So, every time I came close to Don I managed to foul him, so he would have to go the free-throw line to try and tack on a point. Well, the strategy seemed to work, because he never made a free throw the remainder of the game. My fouls weren’t of the flagrant kind, mind you, but Don knew what I was doing, and he didn’t like it.

I don’t even recall who won the game. Afterwards, we were on the way to the dressing rooms downstairs. If you’ve ever been in the old Heavener High School gym, you know the ones I’m taking about. On the way down the stairs, however, Don tapped me one the shoulder. When I turned around, he way-laid me with a sock to the jaw. Kapow! It stunned me, to say the least, and he said, “Don’t ever do that again!” I didn’t, because my basketball career came to a close shortly thereafter.


At November 23, 2009 at 10:32 AM , Blogger Glen Lazalier said...

I can sympathize about basketball. I think I once scored one basket in a Junior HIgh game. Twidwell pulled me out and asked, "Just what kind of shot was that?" I had flipped the ball up in a most unorthodox hook and it got nothing but net. Luck always has been better than skill!!!

At November 23, 2009 at 8:33 PM , Blogger Kathy Bain Dunn said...

Must have been junior high because I don't remember playing in high school - - some huge tournament. I was a fairly good guard, ball-handler, and lucky for me, it was in the day when guards and forwards had two totally separate jobs in girls' ball. However, Connie Sons fouled out in the last minute, and Coach Riley decided to move me from the guard end to the forward end. During the time out Coach drew up a play and sent us back on the court. I guess he had a last minute thought because he yelled out (so everyone in the gym could hear), " Bain, whatever you do, Don't Shoot!" I've taken that advise to heart. I never would have made it in today's game.


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