On The Rebound

On The Rebound

My son has recently gotten interested in basketball. This has had an unintended consequence.

Up until now, he has not showed much interest in it but his friends at his new school invited him to join the 5-6th grade basketball team. One weekday evening in early February he let Emily and I know he was going to join the team (and that he’d be needing basketball shoes!).

He’s still learning how to play, but he really loves it. It’s been fun watching him light up when he talks about the team and what he’s learning. We go out to our park and shoot around a couple times a week and have even started watching some Cavs games together. It’s been close to 30 years since I followed the NBA, but we caught the Cavs in a winning season which is an added bonus.

What’s been even more surprising is that something unlocked in me. I used to love playing basketball. While I always loved football as well, my 5’7 frame, quick speed, and skillset meant I could be decent at basketball, whereas for football, well, I’m built more like the guy tackling players' thirst with Gatorade, than someone who could stop a 225 pound running jogging let alone going at full speed.

Growing up, my brothers and I built a makeshift hoop in our backyard. We played pickup games for hours on end. Eventually, I played on a couple teams. I was okay, but it didn't matter because I loved it. My first year playing for Marlington, I sat on the bench. I used to joke I was 5th string. But I definitely got better the more I played. In High school, I got the chance to start at point guard – mind you it was a small private school, but nonetheless it was a point of pride to see how far I’d come. I loved playing. When I was on the court it was like something switched and a much more competitive person appeared.

But then college came, and like a lot of things I loved when I was a kid, I left basketball behind too. I never even considered trying out for the college team, I’m not sure I was good enough to make the team, but I don’t even think it was a consideration which today I find curious. I don’t even remember playing pickup games all that much during that time.

That was almost 27 years ago.

But something is awake again. Over the last month, I think more about playing. I’ve been seeking out opportunities. The other night I went out and played a pickup game with other adults and had a great time! (Even when I was huffing and puffing for oxygen).

My son, C., and I walk down to the park to play when we have a chance. The photo above is from our one on one yesterday. He’s getting better every day. Later in the evening, we watch the Cavs game on TV. I look forward to his last game on Tuesday. I’m not sure how long it will last or if we’ll find other things to do soon, but for now, C. has helped me rebound a resurgent love for basketball.