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It's all kind of a fog. The noise from the crowd is deafening. Coach is calling my name. Line up close to the left out of bounds line. On the in-bounds pass, cut off the center's high post, receive ball for a final shot.
Run as diagrammed. Ball comes to me as I reach the top of the key. Two dribbles, turn toward basket. Let fly with a jumper. Bangs through off the backboard. A moment of disbelief. We win. The crowd explodes. Loudest noise I've ever heard in a small gym.
For a moment I feel like "something else." No, it's more like I know I am special. I can work wonders. The sense of power is briefly overwhelming. Soon it evaporates and I am a mere mortal again. But I've learned a lesson that didn't really hit home until after my college years. What I finally understood was a bit about why very talented athletes feel privileged and empowered.
It's got to be super hard to not let that specialness creep into the rest of your life.♦
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