Boundaries By John estes

A Saturday during basketball season, can either be amazing or awful. Though, I don't think any were as bad as this Saturday. Things started off pretty good early that morning around 8 we won our travel game that put us in the finals for later that day, but if I knew what was going to happen about 4 hours later I would’ve wished we just lost that 8'o clock game. So, it was about noon and I was just about to play my second out of three games for that day. It was a Rec playoff game at the Boys and Girls Club, so I knew most of the kids in that league.

It was about 1:30 and I was warming up for my playoff game against my friend Angelo. We were the second and they were the third best. I just had a feeling that it would be a good game. It would especially be a battle between me and my friend because we were both talking all week leading up to this game, it had a lot of hype around it. From the beginning of the game it was very high scoring and back and forth. Mostly because Angelo and I were going “at it”. We were adding in a little trash talk for the fun of it. ”You ain’t winnin’ this”, “Come on man, you can’t guard me” were just a few examples of what we were saying to each other. As the first half began to boil down the score was even 32-32. As the first half was coming to a close, I ran around the defender with everything I could’ve, leaving myself in a great position for a three pointer. I whispered to myself, “35-32” as I proceeded to hit another three pointer. Walking back down the court I said to Angelo, “Oh you know that’s gunna go in, all day.”Unfortunately, then the other team got a layup before the half ended so it was a one point game at halftime, 35-34.

The second half started out pretty good for the opposing team, Angelo hit a couple of shots and made sure to let me know about it too. “You really think I’m missing from there”, he said as we were going down the court. Then, as the half progressed it got back to the way the whole game was. High scoring, neck to neck every possession. But, with about 5 minutes left the other team committed 3 turnovers in a row which led to three straight layups for my team, to put us up by 6 with 3 minutes left. The frustration was already beginning to show for Angelo and his team, as they could feel the game slipping away. What happened next basically ensured our win. I stole the ball from Angelo and made a hard crossover-move to get to the basket, made a left handed layup and got fouled by Angelo. This was obviously the key turning point in the game, and with all the trash talking, and hype, I lost my train of thought. Everything that went on in that game was just expressed in that one play. I felt like I needed to tell him the game was over after that play, and I did so, showboated right in his face and yelled “And-one!!”

My first thought after I did that was “Let’s gooo, we got this game in the bag”. It was all fun and games until I heard someone screaming from the stands, it was my dad. Then my thoughts turned into something like, “Sh*t, what did I just do?” and “Did my Dad see that?” And of course, he did. Let’s just say he was pretty mad. So mad that after that play he went up to my coach during the game and told him to take me out. We still won that game, but that was only the beginning. On the bench I was thinking, “I couldn’t be in that much trouble for simply showboating after a game-sealing play could I?” But what better way to punish someone for showboating in a basketball game then banning him from going to another game? And that’s exactly what my dad did. After the game he banned me from going to my travel finals game later that day. I had to live with the fact that I let both my Rec team and travel team down because of something stupid I did that could’ve easily been prevented. And to make things worse than they already were, I found out my travel team lost the championship game by 2.

That burden still hangs over my head even a year later. But, I can’t do anything about it all I can do is learn from it, and prevent it from happening in the future. So, from that day on I’ve learned to think before I act, not only in everyday life but on the basketball court as well. It’s okay to have fun on the court with your friends but there’s a point where you have to know it’s too much, and that Saturday last year I discovered that boundary.

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