Day 22 of Blogvember. A full list of prompts for the month is available.
I’ve always watching and playing sport. As a kid, I tried most sports that entered my world view. I can remember playing:
- football (Australian Rules)
- athletics (I loved high jump, hated running)
The sports I really enjoyed were cricket and basketball. If I’d had a better experience with cricket, I probably would have stuck at it longer. I loved bowling and would be happy doing it for hours on end.
The sport I excelled at was basketball. I was an athletic white guy. I am 6’3” and was able to throw down some good dunks. Although my mates were always frustrated that I seemed happier firing from beyond the three-point line! I maintain I was ahead of my time - look at how the game is played now.
Unfortunately basketball has taken its toll on my body. I’ve got an ankle that won’t bend properly, hips that are creaking, and knees that have lost their cartilage so they crack and pop as I climb stairs, misaligned fingers and a thumb that strains with the slightest effort.
Despite all those injuries and the awareness that things are going to get worse, I wouldn’t change anything. I loved playing basketball so much. For me it went beyond a sport; it was a lifestyle. I made so many friends; I have amazing memories of playing with some incredible players and I’ve met some impressive people.
The two most famous basketball people I’ve met are probably Luc Longley and Phil Jackson. Ironically, neither of these encounters came because I was a basketball player. Rather, they came about because my father-in-law was Australia’s Ambassador to the United States of America and both me and those basketball celebrities were at a gala “G’Day USA” event.
Now I’m transitioning to the next phase of my sporting life. I am watching my eldest boy try a variety of sports. To date, it seems he is enjoying cricket the most. I wonder what my younger kid will get interested in?