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Glorious Basketball career

On Thursday my ward had their first men’s basketball game for the year. The Kirkland Stake organizes some friendly games for the different wards to play once a week at the beginning of the year. I can’t remember the last time I had played basketball. Possibly only one or two games since my mission. I’m currently not busy on Thursdays, so I figured I’d dust off my basketball shoes and go play with the Juanita ward.

Before the game started I practiced a few shots and remembered how much of a struggle it is to get the ball in that darn hoop. I mostly practiced close shots, because I feel really bad when I miss those. My goal for the game was the defend well, rebound, and pass should I ever get the ball.

We were playing against the Kirkland First ward and the game did not start out well for us. They played like a team and we certainly did not. I was able to get my ward on the board with having been passed to just outside the bottom of the key, to turn around and make the shot. That brought the game to 2-11.

My plan of passing a lot didn’t work out. I’m just not good at seeing open players. What generally happened was that I would get open, receive the ball and then look around. I wouldn’t see anybody else open, and since I was open I had time enough for the shot. So I would take the shot, what can I say it’s a bad habit of mine. I missed most of the time, only hitting two or three shots like that. There was only one time that I can remember where I could have shot, but passed instead. With five seconds left in the first half I received the ball at the top of the key. I could have taken the shot, but I didn’t want to miss again. Jake Scobi was just under the hoop and signaled he wanted the ball. He probably thought he was open, but had someone covering him just behind him. So I threw the ball a little to his right, which caused him to step into the open. He grabbed the ball, and following his momentum, turned around and took the shot. Sadly it didn’t go in, and the buzzer rang. But at this point we had caught up and were in the lead 25-24.

Where I did do good in the game, was steals. I had multiple blocks or steals, where I’d gain control the ball and drive it to the other end for a layup. Thankfully I never missed a layup.

The key to the second half was to keep the Kirkland First ward away from the hoop, and to guard number one. Their number one could hit three point shots about half of the time. The rest of their team could not. We got better at guarding our zones and would force them take far shots, because they weren’t hitting them. The plan was helping us keep the lead, but unfortunately they discovered that we couldn’t hit free throw shots. That caused a lot of free throws at the end of the game. A pattern emerged of them missing a shot, us rebounding, them fouling us before we could bring the ball down, us missing the free throws, and them regaining control of the ball. It was a vicious cycle.

Thankfully we won the game. I forget the exact score, and while I didn’t like how many missed shots I had, I did like the defensive prowess I showed. Turns out my layups really helped. After the game one of the refs looked at the score sheet and informed me that I scored the most points in the game. Not bad.

Sadly I probably won’t be able to play for the rest of the season. On Saturday I was helping the Boy Scouts with their Christmas Tree pickup service activity and tore my abdominal wall. So sports are going to be out of the question for the next six weeks. O’well, I’m grateful I played when I did.

Categories: Hobbies
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