This is Basketball

May 22, 2008
By Zach Groffsky, Edina, MN

1st Quarter
The nervous and excited faces
Walk out to center court
Waiting for the zebra colored shirt
To toss up the orange sphere.
To start the game.
Hands are shaking.
Encouraging words raining down.
Trash talk bouncing off the enclosed walls
The game has started.

2nd Quarter
The numbers on the scoreboard constantly changing
Although mostly for one team.
The others don't give up
Waiting for their turn to take the lead.
The ball bounces up the floor
Constantly moving
A shot goes up
Swinging momentum.
Cheers arise from the tired bench.
Fans jump from their seats.
A player smiles, happy as he darts towards the locker room
Happy to be the one, who had just
Changed the course of the game.
Changed the course of their lives.

3rd Quarter
The players burst from the locker room
Their bodies taken over by a newfound energy
Coach's speech still ringing in their ears.
Both teams feel it's their time.
Time to win.
Time to shine.
They start off with fire
Trading off points
Tying up the score.
As the 3rd winds down
The score is still tied.
An amazing play is made
Giving one team an edge
Leaving another to worry.

4th Quarter
The final quarter begins.
In twelve minutes, dreams will be fulfilled
Hearts will be broken.
The ball gets thrown in, lay ups are made.
Missed shots
Haunt both teams.
The final seconds approach
Arms locked on the bench.
Nerves fill the building.
A whistle shrieks
A player at the line
Ready to accept his fate.
The first shot is good
The second is not.
Players jump
Only one lucky one gets the rebound.
The ball is thrown down court
And immediately heaved up.
Different colored eyes are all staring
At the single shot that will change history.
Breaths are being held
The ball soars.
It's falling down
It drops right through.
Benches clear.
Hugs are passed.
Hand shakes given.
Tears shed.
By the end of the game
Only one can win.
This is basketball.

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