Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And That's the Way the Ball Bounces

My thought went to basketball when I read the challenge. We are in the midst of the NBA playoffs, with the Houston Rockets holding their own against a more touted Lakers team. My heart is with the Rockets, but I have doubts as to their ability to match step with the Lakers for much longer -- but who would have thought the 50 to 1 Mine That Bird would have pulled off that upset at the Kentucky Derby.

Then my thought travel back to my own days as a basketball player. I played three years. Two years in junior high and one in high school. They were fun years, trying years, years that left an impression on me.

I learned about team work, about being a part of something that mattered and I learned that hard work isn't always fairly rewarded.

Here's the story and yes, I'll still sound a little bitter as I tell it.

My freshmen year we had an awesome team. Those junior and senior girls were just awesome. We all took to the court and worked out each day. The junior varsity and varsity worked together side by side. Coach would pull his jv aside each practice for a few minutes after warm-up drills and go over plays that the varsity opponents would be running. We would then work out against the varsity trying to give them the competition that would prepare them for the next game.

These were hard workouts for a bunch of girls who were also playing jv games of their own two times a week. But this was the sport, this is what you did, this is how you got better ---- That and the fact that we didn't know any different.

The varsity won, and won, and won. They won district and were going on. The school was excited, the town was excited. Our girls had made it to Regional Tournament for the first time in many years.

I can remember how proud I was to be a part of that team. Even though I had never suited up for a varsity game I felt like I was a big part in their getting where they were. I had sweated with them everyday. I had stood my ground and been laid out more than once -- I had learned to rotate the ball almost the same way Springlake did, I had learned to shoot a little jump shot almost like the girl from Kress I had done everything Coach had asked of me to the best of my ability. Granted it wasn't exactly like those other teams but I had worked hard!

Then the news came -- Only the varsity would be going to the tournament to be held in Lubbock, only the varsity would be getting any accolades for all the hard work THEY had put in. Never mind the rest of us who had worked hard, never mind the fact that we had a part in it. I couldn't believe it -- all year long Coach had gone on and on about how we were all part of the team, how each of us played a vital roll in winning. Then this. To be snubbed, to be left out because we weren't members of the varsity.

I didn't get to go to Lubbock and watch any of the games. My parents didn't travel and follow the team like many parents did. I really don't remember if they won the first game of regionals or not. I do know they didn't advance --- and deep down a little part of me was silently happy about that. (You know, if I can't be a part of it I don't want you to win thing going on in the mind of a 14 year old.)

That was the end of my basketball career. I still love to watch the game. But when I hear names of big time players who get all the credit for a win (be they at the high school, college, or pro level) I can't help but think --- okay the rest of you guy just sit down and let them do it all by themselves. If you can't get some of the glory then just let them do it without you! You are a team, it is a team sport and it takes everyone working hard to win! So there.

And here's the to group of girls who didn't get to go to the tournament. We were an awesome bunch. (In case you're wondering I'm second from the left on the back row.)


Sue said...

What cool memories :) I was not very sporty as a kid, so missed out on being on a team of any sort, sounds like you still had lots of fun :)

Ladykli said...

You and the others should still feel proud of your contributions towards the varsity time. Too bad the coach didn't have the sense to give credit where it was due.

Grace said...

Thanks for visiting my HOTs. I also was on a JV BBall team in Jr High. We never were involved with the varsity team, nor had a winning season. Oh well.

Oh... and I read your HOTS on feet... Love Pedi's too. I get them all year round... being in Florida and all.

anthonynorth said...

You were clearly short changed there. Luckily, I was never any good at team sports when younger. My sports were swimming and gymnastics.

Ida said...

ahhhhhhh, the good old days.

Skittles said...

I can understand your disappointment. I guess besides learning to work as a team, you were also taught that sometimes life sucks. But it's nice to look back on it and see the good. :)

LceeL said...

In my neighborhood, we would have said, "You got jobbed". Yeah, our English wasn't so good when we wuz kidz.

Did you ever notice that you are the only girl NOT looking at the camera?

Hootin' Anni said...

Great memories. And yes, I can empathize with your emotions...it's a bittersweet time in our lives, and you wanting them to 'not advance' is normal, if you ask me.

Momisodes said...

I am so sorry that you and this group of players were snubbed in the end. That seems so unfair. I can relate a little from being on a dance team, and not being a senior dancer. I'm sure those were some incredibly challenging times mentally and physically, but fun at the same time :)

p.s. LOVE you new profile photo.