A Clash Between Friends

July 17, 2009
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It was my first summer home from college, and I was itching to play a basketball game. My best friend Joe, who I always play against, was still not home from school, so the suspense was building. Joe and I have been best friends since the fourth grade, and what binds us together is our desire to play sports. We are constantly competing in everything: golf, football, swimming, but mainly basketball. It is our favorite sport to play. In order to start the summer off with a win, I began to practice. For weeks I practiced my famous jump shot until it was perfect. My game had to be flawless to ensure a win for the initial game of the summer.

Before I knew it, he was on his way home from Pennsylvania State University. He text messaged me his entire trip home trash talking how he was going to “break my ankles” with his juke moves. I just laughed and responded back, “Just like you did last year, huh?” The previous summer, my record was 24-10 against him. I have always been better than him in basketball, but he refuses to admit it.

Soon enough, he was home and on his way to my parents house. By the time I laced up my shoes and took off my shirt he was already here. We shot around a little bit to warm up but we were both way to anxious to kick off this summer’s basketball games. I asked Joe if he wanted to shoot the “do or die” shot, knowing he would miss. And just as I thought he would, he missed. “My ball,” I said, “you ready for the quickest game of your life?” “We’ll see about that,” Joe responded. I checked the ball, and began to dribble. I faked left and dribbled right, blowing past him to the hoop for a layup. “Two to nothing,” I said with a smile on my face. Attempting the same move twice, he caught on quickly and stole the ball right from under me. He hurried back to the three point range and drained a shot right in my face, making me suffer for the stupid mistake I had made. Playing a close game to eleven was not an option for me, for Joe is in much better shape than I am; I had to end the game fast in order to win. “Didn’t see that one coming did you?” Joe remarked. I just kept my mouth shut and did not let his smart ass remarks get to me. “Check the ball,” I said.

Joe charged to the hoop hoping to make an underhand layup, and he did. Five to two was the score, he was up. “That’s it!” I shouted with anger, “you are not going to score another point this game.” The game now became serious. “I’m not about to lose a game of basketball to this clown,” I thought. He checked the ball and immediately went up for a jump shot. I jumped as high as I could and caught the ball just as it left his hands. “Not in my house,” I yelled as I ran to the hoop and dunked the ball with my back to Joe. Five to four was the score now. “Like I said, you aren’t touching the ball for the rest of the game.”

Juking Joe right out of his shoes, I made two quick baskets making the score nine to five, me. It was the last possession of the game and I was absolutely gassed. It was the game of the century, like LeBron James against Kobe Bryant, and I was bound to win. Trying my best to get around him for an easy layup or two point shot was nearly impossible for his defense was flawless. He was playing me so tight that I had no room to move. In a panic, I picked up my dribble making the worse decision of my life. He was not about to let me get a wide open three point shot when he knows that is what I am best at. Instead he continued to stay on me like white on rice, not allowing me any room to make a move. In desperation, I pulled up a fade away three point shot. Waiting for his hand to clear the ball, I then released the shot. “Ahhh!” I screamed in severe pain, for I rolled my ankle on his shoe. Rolling back and forth on the ground in agony, knowing it was probably broken, I looked up at Joe and smiled despite my pain, “I win.”





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