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.