He dribbles between his legs up the court, sweat dripping down his whole body, trying not to show the nervousness feasting inside him. The butterflies in his stomach are angry, beating their wings faster than a hummingbird's. He is the opposite of serene and he loves it. If only he could have this moment for life.
Flash trap out of the 2-3 after he crosses half court. The defenders chop their feet, flail their arms, yell meaningless words; all an act. Their eyes tell the real story: they fear the Baller.
It's almost too easy. Almost. A killer in 'n' out makes their knees buckle and he does his best to hold in a chuckle. Low crossover to a swift spin move and he's through the gap. Center steps up, all big 'n' tough, a smirk on his face, ready to swat the rock into the bleachers.
The Baller hesitates at the 3-point line, takes a hard dribble forward, sends Big Man stumbling back. He smiles. Got 'em.
Leans on the right leg, steps back, jump shot. Suddenly, fat meaty hands in his face, breaks his focus, can't see the rim. Somehow Big Man recovered. Kudos to him.
Luckily, the rim appears again, like a gift from above. He has an extra second of hang time. All that jump roping, strength training, weight lifting, finally pays off. Thanks Coach, he thinks, I was lucky to have you.
Eyes the rim, flicks the wrist, follows through.
No. He's not lucky.
Buzzer sounds, lands on the ground, game's over.