Air Ball

I’ve got to be honest here, I was never the best basketball. My game didn’t translate well from middle school to high school. On my middle school team, I was one of the best (humble brag), mostly because I was one of the tallest, and more athletic kids in my grade. Then I got to high school, where there was a grim reality that came crashing down.

I was just average. Average ball handling, shooting, defense, and I couldn’t memorize a play to save my life.

By no stretch of the imagination was I going to be considered a starter, or even a rotational guy. I was bench warmer/garbage time player. That’s it. That was my basketball career.

I remember there was one game particular against Grand Blanc. We were at their place on a Tuesday, and it was a rather back and forth game. I was sitting at the end of bench, watching this great game. We were in the second quarter and it was a very tight game. Suddenly, coach Daniels looks at me, and tells me to go in.

I check into the game, and stepped on the court. There were about 3 minutes left in the half. We go back and forth trading buckets, with GB holding a slight two point edge.

There were about 50 seconds of play in the half, maybe less. I don’t really remember. But what transpired is probably one of the more inexplicable situations that I’ve ever had.

We inbound the ball. Grand Blanc was in a three quarter court press. Cam Fritts dribbled the ball up the court and was trapped by two defenders. I was standing on the sideline right in front of our bench wide open. Cam passed me the ball, and took a couple dribbles up court.

In blissful ignorance, I stopped my dribble and pulled up for a half court shot. It was like the shot Carlton took in Fresh Prince.

AAAAIIIIRRR BAAAALLLLLL

The shot was so far wide right, that it bounced off the back wall and the gym fell silent. I looked around and everyone started laughing. Parents, coaches, the cheerleaders, even my own teammates. Dumbfounded, my coach looked at me. Shaking his head, he asked, “What are you doing!?”

Shrugging my shoulders and unsure of how to respond, I said, “I thought there was less time…”

Turning his back to me he motioned for Michael Wilson to check in and take me out of the game. I walked to the end of the bench and took my rightful spot where I would remain the rest of the game.

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