Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wild World Of Sports

Basketball season is in full swing in Hillmomba, and the #1 son is playing for the first time ever. He has never been one for the sports. We started him in city league baseball at 5 years old. He played. He was not enthusiastic. By his third summer, after going through all the practices, with the first two games rained out, he said, "I really don't want to play baseball anymore." So we let him quit. Three years is enough to know if you like something or not.

I don't know if his friends talked him into the basketball thing, or if he liked playing in PE, or if he just wanted to try something new. I had told him if he ever thought he would want to play, Middle School was the last resort. Once you get to High School, you don't have a chance if you've never ever played. The boy loves the practices. He never missed a one.

The first game was Tuesday, against a team from a bigger school. For a week, I emphasized that he should not be disappointed if he didn't get to play, because this might be a close game. He said it wouldn't matter. He figures he is 8th man out of 11 players, going by how the coach subs in practice, and the way the players choose teams.

Tuesday's game was close. Half of Hillmomba was there to cheer on #1: HM, HH, The Pony, Gammy, and the Mayor's Daughter with her Boyfriend. We saw #1 run onto the court in his uniform, proud as could be. He made all his left-handed lay-ups in the warm-up. Well...he IS left-handed. The team did not look sharp. By that, I mean that I could not tell what kind of defense they were supposed to be playing, and the offense appeared to be set up, pass to the big guy, shoot. There was not a lot of motion on offense. One player had a spark to him, and gave 100%. He fouled out with 3:00 minutes left. He left nothing on the table. I can't say the same for the rest. As Gammy said, "It doesn't look like it would be hard to work yourself into THIS starting line-up." She was not being catty. We know and like all the players. They are #1's cronies. They have slept over at the Mansion, and shot each other with paintballs, and compared the amount of leg and armpit hair they have. That's what 8th grade boys do. Besides tell one that he has a haircut like a lesbian.

#1 did not get to play in the first game. I can't remember the score, but we won by around 13 points. It was close until the 4th quarter. I thought the coach might run in the bench with 1:00 or :30 left. How much harm could that have done? Then all the boys could say that they played. But he didn't. The 5 starters played. And the coach subbed in 2 others. My 8th man sat on the bench, cheering his teammates. He did not have a negative word to say. He told me, "Mom, I think I would have been the next one in if Coach subbed anybody else."

Thursday, they played a school smaller than us. So small that the 7th grade game was only two quarters so some of the players could dress for the 8th grade game. Nobody knew this ahead of time. HH had barely left work when the 7th grade game ended. We called him to tell him he might miss the game he thought was starting at 5:00. It started at 4:20.

The same 5 players started. They ran up a 14-0 lead before an opponent hit a 3-pointer. With 3 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, I saw #1 go to the scorer's table. The Pony put down his book. Gammy stopped talking. My boy got to play for over 2 minutes. He was a bit tentative at first, but he did not embarrass himself. He played good defense. He put up a shot that hit the backboard and and bounced over the front rim. He went where he was supposed to go. He got a rebound.

HH got there right at the start of the second half. The starters started again, since all of the boys had gotten to play in the first half. We continued to increase the lead. When we were up by 21 points, #1 got to go back in and play for 4 minutes. He got a foul reaching in on a rebound. He played his zone on the defense. He got an offensive rebound right under the basket and put it back up to score, and was fouled on the shot. He made his free throw. He covered for another player out of position on defense. He saved a ball from going out of bounds. He was switched to the right side on offense, pulled in a rebound, and banked it in. That's right. My boy scored 5 points in the first game he ever played.

#1 was on Cloud 9. The coach gave him a terrorist fist bump like BObama and Michelle. His principal told him, "Good game, #1 Hillbilly." A cheerleader texted him to tell him, "Good game." So did a bunch of the players. He is looking forward to a tournament on Saturday.

I hope he gets in the game.


Marshamarshamarsha said...

Woohoo!!! Go #1!! Don't you just love basketball! The Girl starts her games in January. One of the best parts, besides watching her play, is people-watching all the radical parents....unless someone elbows my girl in the's hard to watch myself.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I DO love it! I am very aware of my surroundings. For example, I could not talk about the boy with the lesbian haircut on Saturday because his mom sat too close.

I hope your Girl is as successful as my #1. ;) He got to play in a tournament Saturday, and was fouled while shooting. He stepped up to the line for his first free throw, and shot an airball. The people around me were careful not to ridicule him. I can't speak for those at the other end of the gym. Anyhoo...he put in the second shot. I almost felt guilty that I won't let him wear his glasses in the game. But then he made that second shot.

I'm not that cheap. I was going to buy him a sturdier pair of glasses for games, but the optometrist's assistant said that his prescription is so minimal that she didn't think he needed them to play. What's up with THAT, a glasses salesgirl who doesn't want to sell glasses?

Marshamarshamarsha said...

Sounds like I would like that assistant. My eye doctor always tries to sell me contacts that are not covered by my insurance. One year it cost $20 for the contacts and exam; the next time, it was over $300. I laid a golden egg...and then paid for it.
I am getting The Girl's eyes checked....bless her heart, last year, she full-faced fell over the half court line. I guess it reached up and grabbed her shoe. Hereditary trait from her mom...thank goodness she does seem to have some talent from elsewhere to go along with it. And a good coach.