The time had arrived. We waited for an excruciatingly long day to pass and finally, it had. The dark, clear sky acted as overcast to what seemed to be the inevitable. Counselors led their groups as if marching towards the Coliseum for a battle of the ages. They wrapped around the basketball court like a stubborn wall keeping the warriors in place. The whole camp attended this evening “activity” creating a crowd worthy of a show, meanwhile, six men approach the bench nervous, excited, and determined.
My friend A.J. and I recruited Ethan as our third member for the 26th annual three-on-three basketball tournament. We lacked a post up player or for lack of a better term, a “big man.” We needed rebounds, both offensively and defensively if we were to even have a shot at beating the well known, “Triple Threat.” They were made up of Michael Butler, Cody Brown, and Ian Cohen. Our team made it through the trenches to get this point and we weren’t losing without a fight. The three of us stood in a huddle only twenty feet away from our enemy bench. Waiting for the action to begin, the crowd chattered amongst themselves as we waited for the whistle to mark the start of the game. The three of us look at each other and I can see the intensity on my teammates’ faces. As fun as basketball is, this was as serious as the heart attack I felt I was about to have. The whistle blew once confirmed that everyone was there and seated. My heart thundering inside indicates the probability of a poor performance or a choke.
All six players approach the center of the court to shake hands. The tip off follows. Our “big man,” Ethan, stood at six foot, three inches and had won the previous eight tip offs earlier that day. His opponent is shorter in size but big at heart. The referee holds the basketball like a trophy above their heads as they stare in worship. The whistle blows. The tip off lost. Michael Butler, of the “Triple Threat,” gained the first possession. As they pass...