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Love and Basketball~ sophmore year

Swoosh!

That was the only sound you heard when the ball went into the net. I was practicing my free throws in my back yard and every shot was going in perfectly. I grabbed the ball again, dribbled, and set up for another shot. “Nothing but net!” I thought as the ball glided into the goal. There was no way that I would be off the team this year. I didn't have that leg brace holding me back any longer, and my doctor gave me the all clear to play sports. Yeah that's right. Nothing can stop Monica Galloway from getting on the basketball team this year. Nothing. I grabbed the ball and threw a wild shot at the goal. It hit the rim and bounced back into the air.

“You think you can get on the team with moves like that?” came a voice from behind me. I turned and glared back at Trace McCall. He was my next door neighbor and the press's acclaimed golden boy. He picked up the basketball that lay at his feet and easily shot the ball into the net. I rolled my eyes at him and picked up the ball.

“What are you doing down here? I thought you were you going to Birmingham for the rest of the summer.” I said as I handed him his change.

“I changed my mind. This is the only time I get to really chill with my friends. I'd rather do that than have my uncle giving me basketball drills everyday.” He shot the ball into the net.

“What, you think you too good to get some training?” I asked. He shot the ball again but I blocked it. I quickly turned and made another shot that hit the back of the board and bounced back into my waiting hands.

Trace came over and snatched the ball from me. He ran to the goal and slammed the ball inside the rim, then turned to look at me.

“ Naw, I knew I'd have to come back and teach you a few things before you embarrassed yourself at tryouts.” He said smiling before throwing me the ball. I smacked my lips and made another shot that sunk into the net.

I tried to steal the ball from Trace without any luck. His tall, thin frame slid past me and landed the ball into the goal. He turned around and passed me the ball. Before I knew it we were deep into a one-on-one game with nobody keeping up score. I did notice Trace making most of his shots, his height giving him an unfair advantage. We finally ended the game with me making a Hell Mary shot from the back of my yard. Trace was too tired to get the rebound and just kicked the ball back to me.

“So are you ready for the season to start?” I asked as I collapsed by his side. He wiped the sweat from his forehead.

“School gotta start first. But once the season comes, I'll be ready. ” He said.



I've known Trace McCall ever since he moved here in the fifth grade. His dad and my dad were old college roommates and instantly got together to catch back up on old times. When my dad learned that his old buddy had a son who loved basketball, he started bragging about how his Little Moe had beat all the neighborhood boys in basketball, and how I was the MVP of the community center's basketball team. They were so excited about their two little kids having the same interests in sports that they set up a day that the two of us could meet. It was pretty obvious the first day we met that nobody told Trace that Little Moe was actually a little girl. He started getting all cocky on me, saying stuff like “girls don't need to be on a basketball court” and “No girl could ever beat a boy at a man's game.” I got so sick with his mouth that I made a wager with him: we'd play an one-on-one game. The first one to twenty-one wins. The loser had to buy the winner any kind of ice cream she wanted. He agreed and I was shocked when I found out Trace was actually good on the court, but not as good as me. We played for a good thirty minutes before the score reached 18 to 21. When it came time for us to go I was still finishing up my triple scoop ice cream cone with a big grin on my face, while Trace was stuck looking stupid.

We both have come long way since then. Trace had gone off to North Carolina one summer only to find out that he had grown to an impressive six feet. He had started working out and had improved his skills on the court a lot. He was a starter for the basketball team and had caught the attention of the local newspapers. His popularity grew quickly. It had even gotten to the point that some senior boys wanted to hang with him after school. The best thing was that he had grown into his Dumbo ears. I, on the other hand, had only managed to reach 5'7 and though I had mad skills on the court, I wasn't catching as much attention as Trace was. If I scored fifteen points in a game, Trace would get twenty. If I made an unbelievable shot Trace would score the winning point. Everything I did got overshadowed by Trace. It seemed like nobody had even bothered to notice my skills on the court. That was all supposed to change when I went to Florence High.

The basketball coach had personally spoken with my parents to tell them I'd have a guaranteed spot on the team as long as I tried out. That summer I trained everyday. I had polished every single one of moves and beaten every boy in the neighborhood in quick games of twenty-one. Things were looking bright for me, until I got in a car accident with my aunt. The white truck had hit into the passenger side,were I was, and completely totaled the car. I suffered a major injury to my leg that required me to under go surgery and wear a surgically placed leg brace throughout my whole ninth grade year. Then the doctor told me news that almost ate me alive: no basketball. That day I bawled until I fell asleep. Even though I wouldn't make the basketball team that year, I still practiced as much as I could with my brace on. I kept my body in shape, went to every basketball game, and counted down the days until I could get my leg brace off. The day finally came one week after school had ended. The doctor was able to take off my leg brace and gave me the all clear to play sports. It took me no time to get back outside and shoot some hoops. I was determined that nothing would stop me from getting on the team this year.



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