Why I Still Play Basketball

basketballI re-learned an important lesson recently: The importance of being there.

On Thursday nights I play basketball. I am old (66), overweight (6’2″ 245 lbs), and slow. Yet I still enjoy playing in an over 40 basketball league on Thursday nights. Obviously I am among the oldest players in our league. I never had a real game when I was younger. I dribble poorly. I have no shot from more than 15 feet. And I am not particularly agile. I do however have girth (that comes with a 245 lb body), but whatever modest game I once had is now virtually non-existent. But no matter, as in late December I was the “hero”. I didn’t play particularly well in regulation… until overtime. In fact I had zero points in regulation. And my defense wasn’t great either. But we were tied 58-58 in regulation. Our 3 guards–Kevin Williams, Larry Helfman and Doug Rose were unreal. My other teammates–Isaac Amsilli and Allen Ryan played solid games too. They all were the real heroes.

But sometimes stuff just happens. After being scoreless, I hit a short jumper in the first minute of the three minute overtime to give us the lead. 60-58. They then hit 2 foul shots. Tied 60-60. No other scoring. A few turnovers and now there was 1 second left & we have the ball in an inbound play. I was deservedly the 5th option. No matter. I was open. 15 feet from basket. Ball came to me. No time to think or do anything other than push the ball toward the hoop. No chance of setting my feet and actually scoring as there was no time on the clock. But I was inexplicably fouled! Clanked the first shot. Made the second. We win! 61-60. Beat the other team which was undefeated, but undefeated no more.

Moral of the story:

Being there is important in basketball and in life, because sometimes the ball just ends up in your hands. Take advantage of the opportunity when it does.

Winning is great. At any age. At any level.

Happy holidays to all.

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