Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm sticking my neck out -- it's a GREAT game

Anniversary of first publicly played basketball game, in 1892.

"Nothing here but basketball, a game which won't be fit for people until they set the basket umbilicus-high and return the giraffes to the zoo." -- Ogden Nash.

He loved the game. Never before or since had he had a passion like this. Basketball had bewitched him. He did not care for anything else. His yearning was like a flower that lives for the sun. A seed had been planted, had taken hold and grown.

He loved the feel of the ball, the boom of it bouncing, its seams spinning in flight just so, then the sound—shink!—when a shot went through cleanly, the net flying up and clinging to the rim. He loved to dribble, an act of faith, the ball going down and coming up again, the simplest of things but reassuring.

He loved the games, every game a fresh start, a new quest, you pitting yourself against perfection. You could never attain it. The game was a coy mistress, with many suitors.

He loved the wooing and the courting, but above all the solitary days and nights, alone with a ball and a hoop and his thoughts. Nothing in life would ever be so pure.  --  Chapter 20, The Misforgotten.

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