Old is a Relative Term

I go to a nearby park quite often to shoot some hoops.  Generally I go early in the afternoon when it is very hot – good for working up a sweat.  There are rarely any others using the courts, which is good for me because I don’t want to be tempted to get into a game.  I stopped playing competitively a while ago, not because I felt I could no longer play; more because I figured it was time.

One day late last year I was on the court when a youngster about 12 years old showed up carrying his in-line skates.  He asked if I minded him watching while he waited for the skate park to open.  I told him I didn’t mind, and that he was welcome to shoot around with me. He replied that he’d rather just sit and wait.

So the young’n sat on a bench at court side while I continued on with my routine.  I do layups from the right, left and front of the basket, both right and left handed, as well as reverse layups from each side – starting my drives from about mid court.  I do right and left hand jump shots from various angles and distances, plus hook shots and normally set shots from beyond the 3-point line.  I’ll even drive full court for layups.  I do all this pretty much continuously, constantly on the move.

I had about  forgotten the kid was there, when suddenly I heard: “Mister.”

I stopped and replied: “Yes?”

“Can I ask how old you are?”, he says.

Now, I hate to admit it but I am fairly sensitive about my age.  Since he asked very politely, though, I told him.

His response:  “WOW! My dad is REALLY OLD! I think he’s almost 40, and he can’t play basketball.”

I suppose that was meant as a complement.  However, it sort of put a damper on the rest of that day.

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