Of the four sports I played in high school, basketball was by far my favorite. (Track, softball and field hockey were the others, in case you’re wondering.) Our team was never that great (sorry, fellow former Lady Knights, it’s true), but that didn’t really matter. We had our plays, our cheers, our inside jokes, our nicknames (Lil Ems in the hoouuuuse!), and an awesome coach who also happened to be the school’s second-in-command, which meant we could weasel our way out of detentions pretty darn easily.
I didn’t play in college, so my glory days were in high school. Yes, I’m one of those—and I don’t care one bit. It was fun. Basketball was fun. And every winter around this time, I miss it dearly.
When Kimberly Shrack from Magee Rehabilitation contacted me last week about trying out wheelchair basketball with the Magee Sixers (as the name indicates, the team is sponsored by Magee and the Philadelphia 76ers), I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited—or answered an email so quickly. I was in, just name the place and time.
Of course, as soon as I agreed, I had questions—lots of questions. Like: Is it outdoors? (No.) Is it co-ed? (Technically, yes, but the team right now happens to be all men.) Would we use a men’s-size ball? (Probably, yes.) And the nets would be lowered since we’re playing sitting down, right? (Nope.)
Wait, come again? Kimberly informed me that just like regular ball, the rims would tower 10 feet over our heads. Forget having to maneuver a wheelchair, something I’ve never done in my life—would I be able to shoot anything other than air balls all night? This is when I realized things could go very, very badly. I decided to spend the week leading up to my wheelchair-basketball debut preparing my pride to take yet another blow, having learned my lesson after that time I
embarrassed myself in front of worked out with the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders.
Here we go again.
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