Like so many basketball fans around the world, I feel saddened by the untimely loss of basketball legend, Kobe Bryant. Here I share one of my basketball moments and reveal an accomplishment that even Kobe was unable to accomplish.
Click here to listen to me narrate High and Low over some of my original music, performed by Ben Schwendener.
The summer between the sixth and seventh grade, I had a growth spurt that caught the attention of the seventh grade basketball coach. I literally went from low to high. During my gym class, Coach Galbreath approached me to try out for Blocker Junior High basketball team.
I immediately accepted and though I was at no risk of being recruited for the NBA, I made the team. We spent our time doing the basics, blocking out other rebounders, dribbling, shooting layup shots and running up and down the court getting into shape. After a few months we were deemed ready to play our first game.
Oh, it was very exciting because it was an away game and we had to take a bus ride to get to the other team’s gym. As we changed clothes into our maroon Blocker Demons uniforms and jogged out onto the court, I could not have been more excited. During the warmups, we went through the same practice drills that we did in practice, block out other rebounders, dribble, dribble down the court and shoot layup shots.
I could feel my heart racing fast and my muscles warming up. I was game-ready and ready to score my first official basket. The sum of the talent on the floor was still in its infancy and the scoreboard seemed more like a soccer game than a basketball game, but we were winning.
First it was 2-0. Then I scored a layup shot and it was 4-0. Then one of the other team got fouled and was able to swish in one of his two free throws, so the score was 4 to 1. My team continued to dominate, 6 to 1, then 8 to 1. Then they got another free throw and it was 8 to 2 and I scored another layup and it was 10 to 2.
There were only minutes remaining in the game and I was hoping to score one more time. The ball went up and I did just as I had done a hundred times in practice. I blocked out the other players, grabbed the rebound, dribbled the length of the court, and with only seconds on the clock, gently shot a layup shot and scored.
The stands erupted. Both the home team and our team, which left me a bit confused.
And then it hit me. In my enthusiasm to score, I had dribbled to the wrong basket and scored two points for the other team. I had scored more points than anyone else on my team, making me high-point man. And since the other team had two players who scored only one point each, I was high-point man for both teams. I don’t know if that ever happened again, but for me it was definitely high and low.