When I was growing up, almost every house in Baby Boom suburbia, had some sort of basketball hoop mounted above the garage making the driveway the perfect place to be in the “key” for a game of HORSE, to practice free throw shots, or to see if you could hear the swoosh of the net. As an adult, I stand 5’3” give or take a little bit, and as a kid, I was even more petite. Still, my size disadvantage made me even more determined. As long as the basketball held air and we could figure out how to use the air pump with the needle attachment and we hadn’t lost the needle, we had a game.
My dad would challenge us to the game of HORSE, because he liked to win and petite girls and an even younger boy were little competition. He would demonstrate what a lay-up looked like and we would all mimic his instruction. He insisted in showing my sister and I the “granny” shot as an alternative for the free throw and taught us about the possibilities if one could master the rebound. And there were quite a few opportunities to learn from the rebound, as very few of our shots ever made it into the basket. I remember a few simple instructions: keep your hands up , keep your eye on the ball, and don’t look at where the ball is, but where you think it is going to be.
Today, I was reminded about how much I need a rebound. It seems like everyone else has the ball, taking all the best shots. Part of me wants to step to the sideline and watch as others tower over me and fight for possession. I also wonder if I wait long enough whether the game might go away as the ball goes flat, becomes heavy and loses its bounce. But the other part of me says to keep my hands up and play aggressive. If I get my hands on the ball, protect it, look for assistance, and see if you have a shot. One thing I know, if I get the chance, I’ll take it. If I miss, I’ll still remember to put my hands in the air while looking for the rebound, because the rebound just might change the direction of the game, even for a petite Baby Boomer like me.
© Kelly Tweeddale 2012