Concentration

October 18, 2011
By , Morris Plains, NJ
“Ping, pang, patter, patter!” The basketball went from Jeremiah’s hand to the pavement and back, like a yoyo spinning around like a top. Keeping cadence, he caught and held the ball in his hands and threw the ball. It hit the backboard, bounced on the rim, and swirled around. It went through the net.

“Aaaah! And the crowd goes wild,” announced Jeremiah sarcastically. He grinned and made some side shots and tried to make a three pointer. It bounced off the rim and Jeremiah got the rebound, and while still in the air, Jeremiah bounced the ball of off the backboard and it went through the net.

It was a sunny afternoon and Jeremiah was practicing for tryouts for the Westministar basketball team tomorrow. He felt the Sun feverishly clawing at his neck. Beads of sweat pierced his eyes and clung to his brow like dew to a blade of grass. From the front door, his mother hollered, “Come in for dinner dear. We are having roasted chicken!”

“‘Kay mom, I’m coming” exclaimed Jeremiah. He twirled the ball on his finger, then dropped it and walked in. “Mom, this is delicious,” commented Jeremiah.

“Thank you honey,” replied Mrs. Trowl. She picked up the dishes and went to the sink.

At school the next morning, during seventh period, was tryouts for basketball. Jeremiah sprinted down the hallway to the gymnasium with such force, almost as if a giant, ferocious monster was chasing him. When he was within one foot of the doorway, the doors blew open like a ghost had opened it for him. “Listen up everybody,” instructed Coach Buxington. “You got to shoot a three pointer, get past defense and make a side shot, and to do three chests- passes correctly.”

Jeremiah was up. Sweat made icicles on his chin as he was holding the ball shakily. Everything that happened was a blur. He flew past defense and he shot with amazing accuracy. He had made it to the Westministar team. He felt dizzy, his vision got blurry. His body felt sore and he fell and hit his head.

“What happened!?” thought Jeremiah curiously. He saw first aid kits and medicine filled cabinets. He immediately knew that he was in the nurse’s office. Jeremiah ruffled his hair and his head started aching. He looked over at the clock. “3:45!”
Jeremiah flew out the door and past classrooms, onto the bus. The nurse just looked out her door and shrugged her shoulders.

At practice during fourth period, Jeremiah came unprepared. He didn’t even bring a simple basketball. Coach Buxington tossed him a basketball and then shouted, “Warm-ups everyone.” They threw free throws and side shots as warm-ups. Jeremiah threw the ball and he missed. “You’re a loser.” teased Mike. Jeremiah rolled his hands into fists and he growled. He punched him right in the nose.

“Fight, fight, fight!” shouted the team.

“What is going on!?” questioned Coach Buxington angrily.

“Jeremiah punched me,” complained Mike.

“Get over here,” grunted Coach with a tilt of his head. “You are off the team until you can learn some respect. After that Jeremiah never made the team again.
Jeremiah ditched school and ran home, burst through the door, stomped up the stairs, and jumped on his bed and pounded on his pillow.

Today, June third, was the day of the game. It was a Sunday, so there was no school. The basketball team would have been the only thing that Jeremiah could have done to prove to his dad that he was more than a straight A student. He just wished that his father could be proud of him for some other achievement that does not involve academics.

Meanwhile, Jeremiah’s dad was driving home from work. All of a sudden, a truck came blaring out of nowhere. “HONNNNNNKKKKK!” Mr. Trowl shuddered as the glass from the window pierced his skin. There was a deep gash across his chest and then he was gone forever. The driver of the truck then called 911.

Back at home, the phone rang. It was the hospital. “Oh my.” exclaimed Mrs.
Trowl. Tear drips dangled off each of her eyelashes.

After learning of the news air, space, and time seemed to freeze around him. School was most boring out of the monotony. He worked hard in school to keep his fathers wish of him getting a great grade point average.

June 7th was the funeral. A lot of their relatives came. Grandpas, grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, even neighbors or friends. During the reading of the will, Jeremiah got many things, including his dad’s favorite lounge chair. After Jeremiah was called up to make a speech.

Twenty years later, he was on the Crossure’s National Basketball Team. During the finals, he played with his heart and soul. Last five seconds. “Ping, ping, ping.” The basketball bounced off the sweat covered floor. Four seconds, he held it. Two seconds, he jumped. Game over, he shot the ball. The ball bounced off the backboard. The crowd held their breath. The basketball rotated around the rim in a clockwise motion. The crowd gasped. It went in. The crowd went wild and his previous middle school basketball coach, now retired, clapped and smiled from the bleachers.





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