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Sweat trickled down my face. One minute to go, game on the line. Our team up by two. suddenly a passed whipped past my head, providing a nice breeze breeze. Unfortunately, the pass ended up in the hands of a backdoor cutter who laid the ball in with ease. Our team was now setting up for the last shot. Unfortunately, there was no shot for us on that possession as the other team picked off a pass for another devastating lay-up. With 2 seconds to go, the coach called a time-out and draws up a play. A play for me.
The pressure is so thick you could cut it with a knife. I walk on the court, waiting for the stripes to hand the ball to our in-bounder. He finally does, and I streak around two screeners, and recieved a crisp pass. I let the ball go and heard the buzzer go off.... Suddenly, everything went dark.
“Felix, it’s time for super, I’ve called three times now”, my mom said as she turned off my video game system. “I want us to have one last inner before we leave” she added briskly. Boy, did I wish my life was more like the game and a lot less boring. But they say be careful what you wish for, and I probably should have been. Because I was totally unprepared for what was coming next.
2 Days Later
There was only one way to describe the car ride: long. Our family had conveniently decided to move across the state in the middle of the school year, with my parents getting jobs at the local middle school. Even my sister had friends there because of a soccer camp she had been to. As much as it seemed I had gotten the sour end of this deal, I knew there as one thing that could save the day for me. That thing was basketball season.
The sounds of basketball echoed in my ears as I tied up my brand new B-ball shoes. I looked up and analyzed my new competition/teammates. I saw some of the best play I had seen at my age level. But I wasn’t worried. I had been to plenty of tryouts before. But as I watched more, I realized I had never played this kind of competition. But I knew Iwas ready.
By the end of the first practice I could tell who was running the show. It wasn’t really the coach or the assistant coach. Marty Mcgee, all 6-2 of him, had basically took over the practice. All the other players cowered in fear of getting yelled at by the team’s star player. He would shout at his teammates if they made a bad pass or committed a turnover. And whenever he messed up, he managed to find a way to blame it someone else. He also took all the shots and made his teammates play worse. I didn't get why anybody had put a stop to it.
The next day at practice we were scrimmaging, and I had the misfortune of being on Mcgee’s team. He was taking all the shots for are team, really getting into it. So when one of our teams better players made an errant pass, Mcgee was all over him. I didn’t understand what the big deal was, so I went up to Mcgee and told him to chill. But my comment only seemed to make him angrier and I could almost see smoke coming out off his ears. And from that day until the first game, he would always threaten me, the new kid, that he was going to take me down. But he never did.
Then came the day of the first game. The game started off well and continued on as if we were going to blow them out. I happened to be the backup to Mcgee, so I wasn’t exactly getting much playing time. And he really didn’t need a back up in the first half, sinking pretty much all of his shots. Everything seemed to be going our way at halftime as we were up by double digits.
But then came the second half.
It started with Mcgee getting technical for yelling at the ref. After that, he couldn’t seem to make any of his shots. Suddenly we were losing, by little and then by a lot. Mcgee couldn’t take it any more. After yelling at the refs again, he received his second technical, getting kicked out of the game. Coach scanned the bench and spoke my name in frustration like the game was over. But I knew it wasn’t.
I started off by hitting my first three shots. Our team was also passing the ball more fluidly without the ball-hog Mcgee on the court. We started to mount a comeback. Our comeback reached new heights when I hit a three pointer to tie the game with a minute left. The ball ripped through the net and our bench exploded, except for of course, Mcgee.
50 seconds left. Our team now behind by two. We whipped the ball around the perimeter, finally finding an open man under the basket for 2 points. The other team hit a two pointer with 5 seconds left and their team went crazy. But we knew the game wasn’t over. Coach called a timeout and drew up a play for one of our big men to tie the game. I watched as our big man went to work underneath the basket . Suddenly, he kicked the ball out to me at the 3 point line, and I was so surprised I barely caught the ball. Then I did the only thing that came to mind. Shoot. nothing but net.
Our victory got me the thing I had wanted most: For our team to win and for Mcgee to lose. A week after that our win Mcgee transfered. I figured it was because nobody treated him like the king after that game. And I believe our team was better off without him. I also heard that we’re playing Mcgee’s team in a couple of weeks. He better be ready, because I know our team will be.