Too hot for basketball

One August day in the park

1 minute read
The kid knows someone's watching.
The kid knows someone's watching.
It's August 2 and too hot for outdoor basketball. Almost 100 and only a little after 9 a.m. The kind of day when senior citizens like me are counseled to stay in an air-conditioned room. But the dog is taking me for my morning walk in the park.

There's a kid on the basketball court by himself. Perhaps 14 or 15; he looks to be 5-foot-8 or 5-9. He's doing a lot of dribbling up and down the court. Between the legs left to right, right to left. Reminds me a little of myself, back in the day.

From time to time he stops to shoot threes from the corners (both ends of the court) and jumpers from 15 to 18 feet (from all over). He's making about a third of the threes and more than half of the twos.

I notice he's got big hands and feet. Going to grow some more.

Finally, he seems to notice he's being watched. Smoothly, he dribbles up and down the court twice. Stops at mid-court and throws a long three. Swish. Think he sneaked a quick peek at me, but not sure.

He's standing at the closer foul line. Thinking. All of a sudden, he explodes toward the basket, leaps much higher than I would have figured, and dunks. As if for emphasis, he hangs ever so briefly on the rim. He retrieves the ball, turns and looks directly at me with a huge shit-eating grin, tucks the ball under his arm, and is gone.

The dog looks at me as if to say, "Guess it's time for us to go, too."

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