In 8th grade around October everyone was getting excited for basketball tryouts; trash talking ensued. Two of my really close friends Luke and Adiyan were also trying out.
“Dude, you got no handles and you’re not a very skilled post player,” Luke said when he found out I was trying out.
“He gets a lot of boards though,” Adiyan rebutted.
“Yeah Luke, you’re not even five foot tall. What makes think you’re going to make it?” I said.
“Actually, I just hit five feet.” Luke said seeming so proud of himself.
Tryouts finally came. Luke bought new LeBron 10s, an expensive pair of basketball shoes. That’s how confident he was that he would make the team. When I walked into the pungent, dull, wooden gym, I was amazed at how many people showed up to tryouts. I never realized how many ball players there were in the school until this point. This made me come to the realization that if I wanted to make the team I would have to go hard. During tryouts, I made sure to hustle hard at all times. I drove in hard and got a great bucket in a one on one drill; I really hope the coaches saw. In a one vs. one drill I went out to guard the person I was going against and he did a simple crossover, I fell. This was due to the complete lack of traction on my torn-up Nike running shoes. By the end of tryouts, I was sweating profusely and my knees were skinned up. As I went out into the cold October air, Luke walked up to me while laughing.
“you fell twice Eli.”
“and you can’t finish to save your life” I retorted with vex in my voice.
Adiayn walked up to us.
“Luke, why are you wearing Kaydence’s pants?”
Luke had a pair of Adidas track pants, at this time we had a running joke that he stole them from his girl.
During the next day of tryouts, they did drills to see rebounding skills and getting back on defense. In the one about getting back on defense, I diligently sprinted back over and over again. I did this to show how in shape I was from months of conditioning for football. Finally, it was the end of the second day. The coaches were handing out papers to players that said whether they made the team or not. My heart started pounding as I was wading through the crowd of people. When I looked at the crinkly paper I read the two chunks of text. One of them was the “sorry you didn’t make it you can still play rec league don’t quit playing” chunk. The other read something along the line of “congrats you made the team, show up to practice tomorrow.” I saw the one checked for me. I had made the team!
I walked up to Luke and said “I made it! I made it!” sounding very excited.
When Luke opened his paper, I saw his expression change from anxious to bleak.
I really did feel bad for Luke. At the same time, I felt glad because from that moment on he couldn’t trash talk me on any athletic abilities anymore.
“Man, after all that trash talking, you didn’t even make the team,” Adiyan said in a condescending manner.
Luke’s expression changed to even more upset than It was before.
“It’ll be alright buddy, you can still play rec league” I said.