“Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Bzzzz!”
I remember growing up and counting down from three to perform a buzzer-beater shot and the ensuring thrill that would come after making it — it was a feeling like no other. I knew this was not a real game, not a real situation. There was no one even guarding me, but I still felt so accomplished swishing that shot, even in a fictional situation. This is what made me fall in love with the whole game of basketball in general. It gave me a special feeling when I played, it let me forget about whatever problems I was going through and clear my mind. Perhaps most importantly, it taught me the value of having fun.
These memories were brought back when I first went to the basketball court in Palladium, where basketball intramurals take place. When I was there I ran into a fellow player, CAS freshman Raymond Lin, who told me about how he got involved with the game and why he loves it.
“I started playing basketball for the love and passion I have for the game,” Lin said. “Growing up basketball has always been the go-to sport that I played. Everyday after school me and friends would play for hours until the sun went down. The suspense, drive of working hard and competitiveness is why I love the game so much.”
Ever since I was young my friends and I would go to “Dino,” a nearby park that had a dinosaur slide, hence the name. But what it also had was a full basketball court, and oftentimes in the summer we would spend entire days there. No one could beat us, and it wasn’t because we were so good. Heck, none of us were ever even on an organized league team. We just always won because we had great chemistry. We knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and were able to collectively play up to each other’s well enough to where good became great.
Another big thing was that we had no ego on our team. We just had one goal — to win. Many other teams had players who wanted to win, but who would also take all the shots and showboat to the point that it hindered, rather than helped, their team. But basketball is a team sport and nine times out of 10, if you think you are going to beat five players alone, you’re kidding yourself.
Email Haji Ali at [email protected]