I started playing basketball in 3rd grade. I remember being made fun of at school because I wasn’t strong enough for my shot to even reach the basket. I would squat low and put my whole body into it and the shot would come up too short. I told my dad about my problem and his eyes lit up, he told me the next day we would go to the court and he would help me out. My memory is a jumbled collage of pivotal childhood moments out there like learning how to lay the ball up, learning how to dribble, crying when my dad would run me for not paying attention. In a nutshell I grew up on the basketball court.
Me and my boys still talk shit in a group chat about the last time we played. We also gloat about the next time we will all face off against each other or a heroic 5. Truthfully it keeps us together and its a good way to keep our old asses in shape. We all have to play by ourselves to hold each other accountable to keep our shots up. I played on and against a lot of these guys I still ball against.
One contstant remains, respect.
I’ve been playing organized and pick up hoop for 20 years now. I’ve had the same warm up regimen for 10 plus years now. I played organized my whole childhood and began playing pick up hard in high school to stay in shape for football. Those first couple years I took a lot of lumps. I’ve been swatted, dunked on, tripped up, and generally embarrassed too many times to count.
This gave me thick skin and the gift of having sport amnesia (The ability to forget about a bad play to make a good play on the next possession. Not letting your failures linger or define you).
There was a period in my twenties where I played against some of the best street ballers San Diego county has to offer. I’ve ran court against college players, played in leagues, and competed in tournaments of all types of rules. I met a lot of great people, learned a lot about the game, and gained a life long love for something that can be my true escape from the real world. Cool part about basketball is there’s so many games within the game like 21, knockout, HORSE, half court (1v1, 2v2, 3v3), full court (4v4’s or 5v5’s). That being said this also creates a grey area of what is acceptable behavior. That is why I made 10 universal rules to live by if you playing any regular game of basketball. I have contacted all the people I grew up playing with to make this list. Most of these rules have to do with the cardinal rule, Respect the game.
Written and edited by J-Walk and Mike Hebert