I concentrated on the rhythm of the ball hitting the ground and then into my hand. That was all I needed to hype myself up.
The game has started and we have won the face-off, I was driving in to the basket from the right, but instead of risking such an uneven shot, I pass. Mike was quickly double-teamed. I took the advantage and went in for the easy jumper. Warriors 2- Wolverines 0. Ty had the ball for the Wolverines…
The game went on. Soon it was half time, and the lockers were filled. It was filled with sweaty kids afraid to waste their energy because they wanted to save it for the game. This was a difficult game for the team and a challenge as well.
"Alex" somebody from across the bench screams
"What do you think"
We were now right next to each other and when he looked at me I knew exactly what he meant. The wolverines were always the best and their team was money. Not many believed we could win. I could see in Chris’s eyes that he was unsure, he knew I was an important player and he wanted to know what I thought.
"There is nothing to think", as I said that he stares at me with a blank expression, unsure once again.
"We can win this"
The team was really pumped and soon it went from 34-28 theirs into 49-51 still theirs at the end of the third quarter. Our defense was sloppy and so was theirs. Both teams were hot and the points racked up.
I feed mike the ball, he hits the boards, it reflects, 2nd opportunity for him, he works it up and in. I try feeding Mike the ball again, but there was a big brawl for the ball and Mike as well as West, a kid from the Wolverines fall. Mike lands on West. West elbows him and gets hit with a foul from the referee. He starts cursing at Mike and he ignores him. Apparently that got him even more furious and he went mad.
The referee gives him a technical. Mike scores all the foul points. West takes the ball and pounds it into the wall. West was out of the game.
Now we were close to tying and there is only four minutes left of the game. The score was 56-60. Ty had the ball, I held him. I put one had on him and he pushes in slowly. I waited for him to try to trick me. He was a great player and so was I. I locked my eye on his stomach. He can’t fake with his stomach, for were he goes so will his stomach. It would give him away. He wasn’t able to do anything with the ball, I was too concentrated and put to much pressure, and he passed. Their tall center got the ball. He penetrated, did a fancy turn and shot. 56-62. Down by 6.
I held the ball, and took it down court. I fake to Manny who was at the post and pass to Nate the kid who was unsure. He shot it quickly, it went in and out, and there was a scatter for the ball. I ran to my hot spot the right side of the 3-point line. I was open; Mike read me and somehow managed the ball to me. I grip it and release. I witnessed how everybody watched the shot from the court. Nothing but net. Their team had the ball.
Coach blew the whistle. Time-out, the coach tells us to keep our man and look for a steal, we needed 3 points and we had almost 3 minutes left. They passed it, and then Ty somehow managed the ball, quick jumper 59-64.
We brought the ball down, I Passed to Manny, Manny works with the ball, gets it to Nate he shoots. 61-64. A little less than a minute left. They have the ball. They dribble than pass, trying to work the clock. 10 seconds for them to shoot. I leave Ty and as soon as their teams saw Ty open they attempted to pass. I muffed him. I had the ball and I ran down court.
Before I was able to do anything, everybody caught up. Ty held me, I passed to Mike, and he passes back. Not much time left. Less than ten seconds. I was at the three-point line, I release the ball into the air, and at that time Ty slaps my hand attempting to block. The ball goes on the rim and roll around the rim, threatening to fall. You could almost feel everybody sucking in air and waiting for it to go in. Then it finally goes in. It was tied 64-64, but I could make it a 4-point play. Since Ty fouled me I had the ball at the foul line. I bounced it several times, for the first time that period I looked around and saw my dad with my mom watching the game. I shoot.
Not able to see if it went in, my team and our fans stampeded me, mostly parents. Then I realized I had won the game. Before I know it the whole team runs into locker room screaming. We were all talking and barely dressing for several minutes. Then coach calls for our attention. He tells us how we were incredible and have a chance this year to go all the way. He tells us that we have to work hard and then we dress up. I was one of the first one out because my dad had seen the game and I was happy. I went out of the building.
There I spotted my parents in the car. They were sitting in front and talking. I go in the car. My mom starts saying good job and how proud she is. My dad just starts up the car. Finally he speaks "that was great, son". My dad complimented me, I felt great. My dad never comes to my games, birthdays, or anything else he just works. We headed into the highway. Coach had said that he invited the team and the parents for pizza, in an hour. So we were going to head home to rest first. The highway was not full. The cars were going fast and the wheels moved furiously. It was the afternoon on a Sunday and it was a bit foggy. For some reason dad seemed to be in a hurry. Then I witnessed a crazy driver speed up past us and skip all the cars. Ten minutes later we see him a bit ahead.
The driver is halfway in back of us. Suddenly the crazy Toyota truck slams into our car. Both cars went flying to the side of the road. Th cars were smashed into a wall. The back of our car was turned into a sandwich; the front was not hurt as much. I was siting in the back. The impact of the crash caused the metal on the side to push into my lower body impaling it with tons of pain. Then I could no longer move body and could not get out. I was breathing heavily and I could not hear anything. Finally I heard something; it was the sound of an ambulance.