Thursday, February 02, 2006

Scoring Quick and Often

How in the heck does a high school girl score 113 points in one game? Seriously, I've seen high school girls basketball games and they're about as awesome as getting severly beaten over the head with a tire iron. I can't even remember a day in high school, or college for that matter, where an entire team scored in triple digits. Insane.

As I think back to high school and basketball, there probably wasn't a single varsity game in which I played that I had points numbering in the double digits. Of course, I didn't get a lot of play time on varsity, but when I was in I also wasn't exactly the main focus of the offense.

Our junior varsity games were a lot more fun. We ended up playing most of them on crappy elementary school basketball courts on weekends when they didn't have the heat on in the buildings, but we sure got our fair share of playing time during those games! But even in those games I only think I reached double digits once. I was more of a facilatator for the offense, as well as a defensive oriented person.

This, however, I am not quite as good at nowadays. I've got the energy to play full games and to participate, but over the years (and injuries) my quickness isn't exactly what it used to be. Having turned your ankles and wrenched your knees around more times than you can count in basketball games, ultimate frisbee tournaments, and outdoor running will do that to you.

Throughout high school and middle school, I actually made quite the interesting basketball evolution. Coming in and starting to play in 7th grade I was one of the taller kids in my class so I was a backup center by position. That was fine by me because I didn't have to worry about the complicated things like dribbling and passing. I just posted up and jumped for rebounds.

In 8th and 9th grade other kids started catching up in the height category. No longer was I one of the tallest kids. So I got moved down to a forward position, which was fine. I might have to dribble and pass occasionally, but I could handle the few times I needed to, and my main task was to still just post up and rebound.

Sophomore year through senior year I made yet another transition. I was no longer tall relative to my classmates. Being 5'9" was tall in 8th grade, but not in 12th. Guys were muscling me around all over down low. It was time I learned to dribble and pass... and even occasionally shoot! At first I picked up those new talents about as well as Mary Kate Olsen could pick up an anvil, but I was trying.

I never was able to be a very productive shooting guard, but I was competent. And that's how I ended my high school basketball career--competent. There was nothing I wanted more than to be good at basketball, but it just wasn't happening.

College was a little different. In practicing on my own and playing intramurals where I wasn't being constantly put down by a preferrential coach that only play "his boys" my game got significantly better. I wasn't putting up Kobe like numbers, but I wasn't a high school scrub anymore either.

In comparison to most of the other players in college intramurals, I was still basically competent. Which is how I also ended my intramural years--just competent. And now after a couple of years away from the game, I picked up into a rec league in Rochester.

Over the past eight games I've noticed my game hasn't gotten any better. If anything, I'm still simply competent. I hit double digits one time this year and I'll be lucky if I do again, but that's ok because finally, after countless years (actually about 13) I've come to realize what I am as a player--competent. If I don't try to do more than what I know I'm capable of, I'm sure I'll continue to do just fine.

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