Sunday, January 27, 2008

Two! Two! We want two!

By 8:15 yesterday morning I had taken a shower and had gotten ready, fed six kids a healthy breakfast of donuts and milk, done four French braids, flat-ironed three heads of hair, put in one gigantic hair bow and placed one basketball net hat thing. (Looks like a basketball net but you wear it upside down like a hat. Pretty cute and incredibly dorky.) We made it to Wyandotte later than I had planned, but it really didn't matter because the other team didn't know they were playing and their coach was frantically calling the team to get them assembled. The game was supposed to start at 9 and started after 9:30, so they kept the clock running during free-throws and during time-outs which made me mad to no end. I realize there's a schedule, but I still feel like that was wrong.

Our boys have played a Wyandotte team (they have three) nearly every week and to be honest, those Wyandotte boys can play. They really are good. Our boys have potential but coach is coaching virtually every other team from our school, not to mention has a daughter on the JV team and we don't get in much practice - therefore we suck. Pretty badly. But I think our boys just got good and madwhen they realized they were going to be playing a Wyandotte team again and they played hard. In the first game they played a Wyandotte team they'd only played once before, but still, they were bound and determined to play hard and do their best. It was like watching a different team. They've literally been beaten by 30 points in a game, but yesterday they won it by one point, 13-14. It was a good game - each team did a good job keeping the other from scoring, rebounded well and just generally played good ball.

The second game, however, they played a team that has tromped them pretty badly. And repeatedly. They were mad before the game started. There is usually about a 20 minute break between games, but since the first one got a late start, they played the next game almost immediately. Our boys were exhausted; the other team was fresh, but our boys were angry. Sam elbowed a kid, the kid elbowed back. That happened several times. Sam doubled up his fists once, but thankfully didn't punch anyone. He was near tears several times, too, because, bless his heart, he's like his momma in that when he gets mad sometimes the only thing he knows to do is cry. Of all the things I could've given him, I hate it that was it. At the half, Paul called him over for a pep talk, Tater gave him one as well. All I knew to do was rub his shoulders and pray. He shed a few angry tears, nodded at the advice and slugged down his blue Gatorade that makes him look like the only cyanotic player out there.

At about 22 seconds left in the game, Sam got the ball , shot and got fowled. He has worked really hard on his free-throws lately because he has trouble getting them anywhere near the goal. As he got into place on the free-throw line he looked up at us. He looked so worried and nervous. I nodded and hollered, "You can do it, buddy. I KNOW you can!" The slumber party girls were all cheering for him, Mom was clutching my leg, Paul's fists were clenched on his knees. Sam shot. It bounced off the backboard, but didn't go in. He looked at us again. I hollered, "That's alright, just concentrate!" He shot. It swished the bottom of the net and as one of the Wyandotte boys tried to rebound, he knocked it out into the tangle of boys in the lane. Sam got the ball, we all shouted, "SHOOT!!" He did.

He made it.

The look on his face was one I will never forget for the rest of my life. Of all of the most precious memories I have, that one is going to stay pretty close to the top.

See, last year, he was the only kid on the team that didn't make a basket. His coach tried so hard to set it up for him, telling the other boys to back off so he could shoot. but Sam was afraid to shoot because he was afraid to miss. It's happened again this year, too - he gets rid of the ball as quickly as he can because he doesn't want to shoot and not make it. We've all told him and told him that never shooting will guarantee he'll never score. He can make the shots, no doubt about it, he just lacks confidence.

When that ball went in, he jumped and hollered "YESSSSSS!" and then looked up at us. Tater and I were on our feet - I was screaming, Mom was crying, I was crying, the slumber party girls were screaming and clapping, Paul was grinning ear to ear and I may or may not have seen what may or may not have been a tear in the corner of one of his eyes, but you didn't hear that from me. Of course, the moment wasn't to be savored because Wyandotte threw the ball in and did everything they could to make another shot before the buzzer, so he was off and running, grinning the whole way. We didn't win, they stomped us pretty good, but my boy made a basket.

I think he floated a few inches off the ground the rest of the day. I know I did.


Jax said...

Way to go Sam....Hoss played yesterday...(2nd grade) they loss 24-8, their hearts were broken...but they did play whole heartedly....hard to get him to understand that was all we expected out of him. =)

Tan said...

Awesome! This is probably just what Sam needed to boost his confidence. His teammates may never get a chance to throw the ball again!! LOL YEAH!

Marshamarshamarsha said...

My girl played Saturday. I am pretty sure we played a Wyandotte team. Those Bears were AGGRESSIVE! Scared to see what they will be like in high school. Yay for Sam!!

Anonymous said...

Damn Wyandottians! Never did trust 'em.

Anonymous said...

TAG! You're It!

I got tagged for this meme
and now I'm tagging you because you're just so special!

Have fun and let me know when you've finished!

Dee Dee

Anonymous said...

Awww! Way to go Sam!!!

Lacey (in Tulsa)

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

I'm getting misty just thinking about it!

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