The Rush Of Basketball
Kurtis Blow once rapped
Basketball is my favorite sport,\ I like the way they dribble up and down the court,\ Just like I’m the King on the microphone, so is Dr. J and Moses Malone,\ I like Slam-dunks, take me to the hoop,\ My favorite play is the alley-oop,\ I like the pick-and-roll, I like the give-and-go,\ Cause it’s Basketball, uh, Mister Kurtis Blow,
I’ll be honest. Basketball is my second favorite sport, but by a slim margin to that sport of sports, soccer. Being 5’ 9”, soccer comes more naturally to me. I only made it to the JV level in high school basketball, but played at the Varsity and Division 3 college level in soccer, which is not saying much.
I’ve started playing basketball at the Y in the morning before work. It was a slow start, but today I had one of those games that reminds me why I love this game. I felt like I was firing on all cylinders.
When you take a moment to think about it, the computational output of your brain while playing sports is amazing. It will take a loooong time before a robot comes anywhere close. Think of all the unconscious calculations you make in a split-second play.
The ball is in the air, watch its trajectory and make sure to precisely cushion its landing in your hands. Avoid being called “Butter Fingers” for the third time today.\ \ Meanwhile, react to the defender on your left. He’s bumped into you slightly taking you a bit off-balance, so make sure to keep your balance, brace your leg to support the extra weight, and take a dribble. Oh, and don’t forget to keep the dribble away from his hand reaching in. He’d like to get his hands on the ball you know.\ \ As you are half falling, half stepping, be aware of the other defender closing in, he wants the ball too. There’s a gap between the two defenders and one of your teammates is cutting to the basket. About time he figured that out. He’s got a defender reaching in on his back. Is the gap wide enough? Wait a split second, take another dribble, hear the footsteps of another defender closing in, hear your stomach growl and wonder what you’re going to have for breakfast.\ \ There! The gap is just wide enough. Avoid the hands reaching in and throw it off the ground at just the right angle and just slightly in front of your teammate so it lands right into his hands, but away from his defender. Perfect! A perfect layup. Now enjoy the rush of adrenaline and go accept the high-fives and accolades from your teammates. Don’t trip on the court.
This entire thought process occurrs in about a second. That’s the rush of basketball my friend.