Saturday, April 3, 2010
D-Lou was streaking down the court, looking to no-look dish the rock or maybe just pull up and hit a dagger three from NBA range, nothing but nylon, cool like butter. He slowed momentarily and I picked him clean, a slight glance back to make sure he wasn't on my heels.
Sherbo attempted to cut me off - I slid into a 360 spin-dribble, right to left to right again, a blur, a flash, a whirlwind, a glimpse of jersey numbers, unstoppable.
I moved to half court and Cincotta and Iandiorio sprung a trap, vicious, no room to breathe, no room to see, no room to think. I split the double-team, sliding through like salami in a slicer, paper-thin, pushing the rock ahead of me into space, for a moment, gathering it back in with my sticky-icky handles.
Crossing over Hinton was no small feat but I left him grasping, gasping.
As I approached the key, there they were: Olds, like a mountain, Rosenshein and Page, twin towers. Enormous, creating their own weather system, immovable, strong as steel. I hesitated...and jumped.
Time slowed as I floated higher and higher. I reached for the rim, the crowd in a frenzy, singing my name with a roar. I looked down, just for a minute, and the way those three looked at me told me everything.
I said, "I'm an All-Star, son." And I just kept on rising.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Fundraising can be a frustrating process. Lots of places have complicated donation procedures that take months to process. Some give you a number for corporate, usually an office somewhere in New York, where you leave a voice mail that inevitably goes unanswered.
Still, there are very rewarding moments as well, like when friends, family, or local businesses step up to chip in and make a difference. The Sweet Life Bakery donated a $35 dollar gift card for our raffle. My wife told her boss Jeff Tittelfitz about our fundraiser and he donated a $100 Macy's gift card. I'm sure that with these, and other valuable contributions, we will have another successful All-Star game this year.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
This is what I am going to do to you. Today. On court number one. Or two. Or three. Whichever you prefer.
I promise to leave you befuddled. Bereft. Adrift. Wondering how this could have happened. To you.
Remember that Kenny Anderson crossover on Bobby Hurley? Kenny and Bobby alone on an island, the crowd gasping, the Georgia Tech guard toying with his defender, cat and mouse, ankles broken again and again and again. People actually felt bad for Bobby after that. Except Kenny.
That is going to be me and you. Today.
Can I still get your notes from class?
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
My alarm sings, James Brown horns blasting. I manage to open an eye but not two.
My bedroom is dark. The Funkmasters have entered my head, my heart - listen, never say no to those guys. Another jolt from the finest rhythm section ever assembled, one, two, three I said "Get Up!" "Get Up!" "Get Up!" "Get Up!" "Get Up!"
You know how ninjas are all quiet, black mask, stealth, the whisper of an unknown breeze? I am the opposite at 6:08am on a Monday. My family should be awake once I take my first uneven step, listing to the port side, banging shins on bed frames, unspoken expletive unable to escape my dry, cracked lips. I'm not intoxicated. I just can't see the sun, warming others on far away shores. It's Oregon in January. The sun is always warming others on far away shores. Lucky.
In the bathroom, I wash away my weekend, trying to get pure and failing. This is the first time I can begin to imagine why in the world I'm awake. It's got to be for some kind of reason, something real, something good, something true.
Shorts, t-shirt, jersey, black socks pulled high for maximum power. The fog clears, the fog returns. Keys. Student ID. Driver's license. Door open, shut, radio, defrost. I like to catch up on my sports scores while everyone else slumbers.
Please don't be angry but I drive unknowing, unseeing, unspeaking. I am aware like a carton of milk, maybe 2% but not whole. I park the car and the light at the intersection just ahead is green, yellow, red. Why? I am the only one driving in this entire green and yellow city. Door open again, cold assaulting my pencil legs, and my mouth forms an O. My second eye just opened - that seems important.
To the end of the block with short steps, passed on the left hand side by two women jogging. I take a roger, enter the glass doors, then again just to be redundant. Through the gate, to the left. I'm here for something real, something good, something true. Basketball. Love.
84 or so law students, 12 teams, 1 hoop dream. Sat on the bench in high school. Sat in the stands in high school. Played in high school. Played in college, you know, a cup of coffee in D3, dreams destroyed. Redemption is at hand but nobody can dunk. Or really jump. But passion like you've never seen - matador, roses, and one dead bull.
It's the first day of the season, spring semester version. In the first game, I go for 3 points and 4 air balls. In the second game, I go for 2 points and one blocked shot. I didn't block the shot. Reverse it.
My team is named after a phrase in a famous Supreme Court decision. How clever. Unique. Next year I'm naming my team Arguendo. That's so much better. Pure gold, padre. That's how all the teams are. Stocked full. The finest collection of brain wattage west of the 'ippi River.
I love the LBA. If loving the LBA is wrong, I don't want to be right. If you're not with us, you're against us or something about how we have not yet begun to fight.
There's no need for you to tryout, no need to catch the attention of the varsity coach with your darryl-dawkins-rim-shattering-two-handed-reverse-DUNK. Have fun, play hard, call ridiculous phantom fouls when you miss that point-blank uncontested drive to the rack.
I know it's been awhile. The morning is quite beautiful. Join us.
This year's All-Star Charity Game will be played on April 4th at 3:30, at Gerlinger Hall. Your LBA All-Stars are as follows:
OFFICIALS: Tom and Dawn Shrum
COACH: Briana Renzetti
The All-Stars will be doing battle with a team of to-be-named Alumni, assembled by former LBA great, Ali Seals.
We're hoping to double last year's fundraising mark by raising $1000 for Partners in Health.
Why Partners in Health?
Partners in Health has been an active force for good in Haiti for over 20 years now, providing health care and education to the poor. Before the earthquake they had over 5,000 people working on health projects in Haiti. It was important to us that we chose an organization that has an intimate knowledge of the needs of the Haitian people and a well established infrastructure to put the money to good use. The earthquake was two months ago, but the need for continued aid is as important as ever.
How To Help
We are currently accepting cash donations, as well as gift certificates and other items to be raffled off at the All-Star game. All proceeds will be donated to Partners in Health. Cash donations can be made in person, or by using the Chip In widget on the right side of this blog. To donate for the All-Star game raffle, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Legal Basketball Association (LBA) is a co-ed student basketball league here at the University of Oregon School of Law. The LBA is made up of twelve teams of 7-8 students that play four games a week for about 30 weeks throughout the school year. Overall there are over 700 games played in a season.
Students show their dedication by showing up all year for games that start at 7:00 am, no small feat for a group of grad students who are swamped with papers and assignments, not to mention the stress of finding work and internships.
The league is modeled after the NBA, with a lottery, draft, All-Star game and playoffs. Our All-Star game is an opportunity to raise money for charity. Last year we raised over $500 dollars for the Student Hurricane Network, and this year we're aiming for $1000 dollars for Partners in Health.