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Swish This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I walk into the empty gym. It’s 6:30 a.m. Nobody is playing basketball, but the early morning runners are getting their workout on the track. I smell the hardwood and love the quiet. It’s complete serenity. I pick up a basketball and start to shoot. Practicing. Preparing. Tomorrow is a big day. The last game of the school basketball season. A battle for first place in the city. Each shot I take prepares me for tomorrow, making me better and giving our team a better chance of being city champs.

I shoot a free throw. Swish.

Three-pointer. Swish. Complete silk.

I’m on fire, I can’t miss, each shot seems to be falling into the hoop perfectly. If I play like this tomorrow, we won’t lose. I think about tomorrow’s game, each shot making me better. It’s a big game. I have to play well. Swish.

I’ve been playing basketball for as long as I can remember. It’s always been a part of my life. Every shot I make is a small accomplishment. Tomorrow’s game is just a small part of my life with basketball. I can’t wait. Swish.

Overtime in the final game, 45 seconds left. I’m playing great. My three 3-pointers have led us on a comeback and have sent the game to overtime. It’s their ball. Tie game; we have to make a stop on defense.

I see the crowd on their feet; they have witnessed a fantastic game so far. I check the clock – 20 seconds left. We have to get a steal. I watch as one of the other team’s players throws a lob pass across court. I jump in front of it. It’s a steal!

Our ball – 15 seconds left. I hand it to our point guard and run to the offensive side. He brings it up court and looks to pass, 10 seconds left. I run to the three-point line, calling for the pass. I’m wide open, I receive the pass. This is what all the practicing has been for, all the time I’ve spent in the gym while the others were resting. All the practicing I’ve done without people watching has to pay off when they are.

I grab the ball and prepare to shoot. Five seconds, 4, 3, 2 … I shoot.

Time seems to stop. I watch the ball rotate off my hand and float toward the basket. I feel the tension as the crowd waits in anticipation. One second left.

Swish. Game over. City champs.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

IlovemeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 5, 2012 at 7:50 am:
I really liked the story, I play basketball too and I wish I wrote this. One of my friends while teaching me how to shoot told me never to miss a basket because each one is important. I could totally relate to it :) check out my work too!
 
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compassionThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 16, 2012 at 10:23 am:
 gosh the swish repition and your description limns the story right in front the readers eyes!lovey,grt job keep it up
 
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Symba This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm:
This is really good! I feel like im sitting in the crowd, watching the game!
 
Abilks replied...
Sept. 15, 2012 at 6:15 pm :
Thank you for all the ratings and comments. This is my first submission to Teen Ink and I hope to write more in the future!
 
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