Going into the season, I wasn’t too sure of how things would actually go. Coaching a high school basketball team is an adventure that can either go horribly wrong or extremely well. After our tryouts, I was a little worried. The squad lacked experience, ball handling, height, and depth. What coach expects a team full of clumsy kids shorter than 6’ to be decent in a competitive private school league? Not me.
Ya boi was wrong.
The more we practiced, the better I felt about the upcoming season. The kid in the all-white New Balances ended up being my starting point guard. His older brother and my only senior has developed into my go-to guy on the court with an explosive first step mirroring Russell Westbrook. My two returning starters have really blossomed and filled a leader role. The new recruits have pushed our team over the top. The players that I expected the least from have impressed me the most.
We won our first home game by 20. Meh, I thought it was just a scrap team to get the guys fired up for the season. We headed off to a tip-off tournament in the middle of bumfuck Virginia, and the first team was nothing easy. As the other coaches and I prepared for the game to start, the other team’s coach came over to introduce himself. I remembered him, though; fucking douche bag was such a pain in the ass to play against in high school, and now I have to coach against him? You’re going down, pretty boy.
“Delph! Long time no see brotha! How’s it going?? Great to see you back at the alma mater helping out and giving back to these guys! It’s awesome doing the Lord’s work.”
This is what I said out loud: “Whoa what’s up man?! Nice to see you. Yeah I love it, lotta fun.”
This is what I said in my head: “hahahaha you’re balding even worse than I am, you geriatric fuckstick! I have always hated you and I really hope we murder your team tonight because you have a more punchable face than Grayson Allen. Bitch.”
We won by 31, and we ended up winning the whole tournament. The next week the head coach had a conflict and asked me to coach our next game. I’m already the head JV coach, and it’s not very difficult. Varsity though? That’s a whole different story. These games matter, so what if I coach us to our first loss? We were up 34-20 at halftime when I checked my phone to see a message from the head coach.
34-20? That’s it?
I guess he was watching the live stream, but why is he coming after me about a 14 point lead? Was I supposed to scream at the guys that we weren’t winning by enough? I don’t know, but that’s exactly what I did. I kept my starters in until we won by 39 points. Power move.
The winning continued for the most part and we entered Christmas break 8-1, with only two more road games remaining. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m actually optimistic. We even grabbed two new transfers. Are we going to make a run? Are we going to state? Could we possibly win a state championship? I’m still not getting my hopes up, but anything is possible. I guess we will see what happens..
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