Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Right about now, I'd love just one thing

Guest Post by Michael Ginsburg

Call me crazy, but I’d say it’s safe to assume that athletics have consumed a huge portion of my life. Whether it’s actually playing the sport or just having my mind on it, I’ve devoted an abundance of time and energy to the subject. Malcolm Gladwell, the man who coined the “10,000 hour rule” argued that it takes 10,000 hours for someone to become and expert at something. With this on my mind, I sat down and calculated that I have spent roughly 2,400 hours simply working on my basketball skills. While I would never consider myself an expert, I still view it as one of the longest withstanding, unwavering commitments I’ve ever made.
I remember when my Dad first told me that he signed me up for a basketball league. I was very young (young enough so that I was enjoying the painting at my sisters birthday party).  My entire family was there when my Dad broke the news to me. As the story goes (and pictures shows), I bawled my eyes out. I didn’t want to play basketball. The next thing I remember is my Dad teaching me how to make a layup (a landmark, really). I used to steal a pass, run down the court, stop, and shoot (and normally miss), thus, I learned the ever-so convenient layup.
            The next few years were blurry, but middle school came along and it was great. That’s where the chemistry started with our “dream team”. We all started on the “B” team where we were coached by two legendary men. The first was Brooks Lakin (the man who Park’s performance court is named after), who would drill us with defensive shuffling and sliding drills until we would drop to the floor. The next was Howard Jachman. Both, were truly amazing people who taught all of us life lessons. Coach Lakin passed away a few years after he coached us, and Coach Jachman at a young age a few years after. I had really become close with Howard, and I played with his initials “HRJ” written on one side of my shoes last year.
            When high school came around we killed it our freshman year. Defeating Mcdonogh in double overtime of the championship game was a highlight of my high school career. In high school the relationships I developed with coaches will last forever. I remember when one of my favorites, Josh Ackerman approached me before a big practice and told me that he may have testicular cancer. It rallied us as he made long bus rides with us amidst the pain and carried us through the playoffs. Something about sports creates this sense of unbreakable unification. Sports connect all kinds of people, because no matter who you are, if you love the game, we all have something in common.
However, it all quickly came to an end. After a hard fought 31 minutes, the buzzer sounded and Jake Max checked in for me. I took a long slow walk back over to the bench, head down—dejected. How could all of this end so quickly? Hours, days, and years all committed to this one game simply ended in a matter of minutes. Even more than that, it was the worst game I had ever played. Everything ended so quickly; and ever since, it’ll never be the same. I haven’t picked up a basketball in over a month. Something that was once the cornerstone of my life now plays no role at all. So, right about now, I could really use a little basketball.