basketball – MrGrunty

Before a basketball practice early this the season, MrG was nervous and didn’t want to go. Telling me he was no good. I told him that he is on a very good team, and that he does belong on it.

The first practice I watched this season, reminded me how much I like his coach. The coach had them do Triple Threat position, and then would try and jab their ball away. I could hear it when the coach slapped the ball of one of the better kids, and he was easier on the less experienced kids. Coach pushed MrG, who he knew from a few seasons ago, when he was on defense the coach would call out, “G, that’s your ball, take it” and when he was bringing the ball up and had to call out the play, even though all the players heard the coach call out the play, Coach made sure that MrG called it out loud enough for all the players.  (Assistant Coach was cool, too. He sometimes hosted an extra practice, not that our team needed it, and he welcomed siblings to join in.)

Quickly, we learned how good the team was. Being up by 12 at half-time, was not unusual. I was chatting with another parent about why they are so good. Most of the kids had played a couple seasons together. We got lucky with players. And the coach is good. After about half way through the season, our parents were pretty quiet, not really cheering as our team was destroying the other team.

There was only one close game, which MrG team barely won, off of a free throw. The parents were really invested, it was back and forth all game, we were really cheering. That was stressful.

The most fun I had, there was a scrimmage of MrG’s team, and a YMCA team that was a couple years older. It was fun. Our kids didn’t give up, didn’t back down, played tough, and it was close because of their hustle and teamwork. His best friend on the team grabbed a rebound, but was surrounded by two bigger kids, and passed it out to MrG, who was at the top of the key, and without hesitation, MrG shot, and made the bucket. The two coaches were ref-ing, and that was good, too, having good refs.

MrG during games… one game he just couldn’t get the ball to drop through the net, but he had four steals that game. He had some games where he had a rebound, basket, steal and assist. (He doesn’t get that many rebounds, and although he passes, not that many assists.)   My favorite memory this past season, he was standing next to his opponent, watching the other teams point guard, MrG was tense like a cat, and when the point guard made a lazy pass, MrG pounced and stole it.

Coach always ended practice by having someone take a free throw. If they made it practice was over. If they missed, everyone had to sprint down the court and back. MrG ended a couple practices.

The last practice coach had contests. MrG got second place on layups from the right, second place on layups from the left, was one of the last in a dribble competition, and one of the last in a game called “Bump”  (Coach called out during Bump, “you do NOT want to have G follow you!”)

At the end of season party, MrG got a basketball, signed by all his teammates (they all signed for each other) and his nickname from coach is “MoneyMan”.

 

 

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