HFT / Hoops

12:00:00 AM

My father worked abroad through most of my childhood, so we only get to be with him for one month each year. Whenever he was home, though, he'd take time to teach me how to play basketball. He can be quite the perfectionist so he was tough, but I liked the sport a lot, which is why I didn't mind being pushed.

Throughout elementary and high school, I played basketball occasionally. It's not really easy to find boys who would let me play on their teams; aside from my father, nobody really thought I was any good. My brother wasn't very athletic so this isn't something we could bond over. And the village court was almost always occupied so that wasn't an option, either.

Nice shot
(photo from the internet)
Fast forward to college, I finally had the chance to actually play. My friend, Abet, taught me how to shoot. It's not as simple as tossing a ball at the direction of the ring and hoping it would go in. The force should come from your legs, not your arms. Follow-through with your middle finger to make sure the ball goes where it should.
Thank you, Barwin!
(image from the internet)
His brother, Barwin, taught me how to do the lay-up, and I've gotten quite good at it because he's such a strict teacher. He'd make me do ten in a row, and every time I missed, I had to start over. He made me do other drills over and over until I got it right. We were both Steve Nash fans, so it became our thing to dribble from home to school.

On a random day in my sophomore year, my blockmate Gelo and I played  a half-court game against two other blockmates, one of whom was so competitive, he actually briefly forgot that I'm a girl. We had quite the commanding lead, and for some reason, I was making all my shots that day. I could see that he was getting frustrated; he was throwing mini-tantrums.

After I made my nth three-point shot, the ball was of course in his possession, and in an attempt to shoot, he drove straight into my chest.  I fell and landed on my butt. For a while, it did hurt, but when I recovered from the physical pain, I wasn't even sore about the whole thing. Because I felt that that foul move meant I've earned his respect. That I'm no longer just a girl they let on the team because there wasn't anybody else. That I can actually play at their level. That I am a threat.
(photo from the internet)
Two weeks after that great game, I got injured. I made a three-point shot to win a game but I landed on my ankle because I was a big enough idiot to wear running shoes. While I was sidelined, I just kept watching NBA games, yelling for the Phoenix Suns even if they're so poor in defense and therefore had no hope beating the San Antonio Spurs.

Basketball is an awesome sport and if you're up for it, it's never too late to give it a try. I actually got into it in college to break the monotony of swimming. Don't get me wrong, my forever first love will be the water sport, but it could get boring if it's all you ever do. I needed something that was less mechanical, and that's what basketball was to me.

A fair warning, this isn't for everybody to play. It's a high-impact sport and the possibility for injury is quite high. I actually stopped playing because of that injury, but I still do shooting rounds every now and then. If done alone, it's a great weight-loss routine because you have to chase after the ball after each shot. Haha!


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