The fourth quarter of the championship basketball game in Las Vegas was one of the most stressing games of my life. The player’s jerseys were drenched in sweat and in some cases blood. The heat of the Vegas sun mixed with the fact that the gym was packed and there was no air condition made it feel like hell. You were not even able to hear the basketball dribbling over the sound of the roaring fans. There was six seconds left in the game and everyone was on their feet. We were down by one and my opponent was taking the ball out-of-bounds. My palms were sweating and my hands were shaking from the nervousness of the situation. I was guarding him and as if in slow motion he threw the ball towards his man, but it would never make it there. I dove for the ball, stretching my hand as far as I could, and I felt the leather of the ball skim my finger in midair. I deflected the ball just enough for my teammate to grab it out of the air and slam it into the rim. Everything was quiet in my head until I stood up and heard the explosion of the applause coming from the fans. My teammate and I were hoisted into the air by the hundreds of fans and we were carried off the floor victoriously.
Making a Basket
January 3, 2008