The Streetballers

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Sports  |  House: Booksie Classic


A group of underdog teens come together to form their own basketball team after being shut out of joining their school team.

Submitted: January 24, 2018

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Submitted: January 24, 2018

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The Streetballers

By

Joey Hubbard

3/9/06

 

 

Has there ever been a time in your life when you were so good at something but you never got a chance to show it; if so then this is the kind of story you should read. My name is Josh Myers and this story is about how I, my best friend Benny Jones, and several of my other friends worked together to show our entire school how great we were at the game of basketball. It was the best time that not only changed my life but many others as well, including my own friends and parents.

 

It all started about a month and a half ago before summer started. Benny and I were hanging out at Chippewa Park on a Friday afternoon shooting hoops. We were anxious and excited because that was the day when our school was going to put up the roster showing who made our high school basketball team which was called the Cobras. As I bounced the ball, I checked my watch and it read 1:00 so I said to Benny, “It’s already 1:00 so we’d better head back to school and check the roster to see if we made the team.” Benny replied, “Okay but I wouldn’t get our hopes up because after all this is the third time we’re trying out and might be the third time we don’t make the team.” As much as I hated to admit it, Benny was right because this was the third time we tried out for the team and the last two times we did not make it but I still don’t know the reason why.

 

We started to walk back to school and were shortly joined by my sister Cynthia, my cousin Veronica, and two of our fellow classmates, Ronny Thomas and Johnny Vennaro. We all walked into the school and checked out the roster but our names were nowhere to be seen, not my name or Benny or even Johnny and Ronny’s name was on it at all. We all walked back outside and sat on the swings of the outdoor playground. After what seemed like forever, Cynthia broke the silence and said, “I’ve got an idea guys. Why don’t we go get something to eat at Dog Years and it’ll be my treat?” We all agreed and got into her car and drove to Dog Years.

 

I would like to take a moment to turn away from the story and answer some questions that you may have right now. In case I haven’t mentioned yet, Cynthia and Veronica both go to school with me and they are both cheerleaders and Cynthia can already drive because she has a learners permit and she drives an SUV truck. Dog Years is a diner in the neighborhood that mostly serves hot dogs, burgers, and stuff like that. I also would like to point out that I live in Chicago.

 

As I was saying, we went inside the diner and everyone ordered except me because I was too angry at the moment to eat anything, although I couldn’t ignore the growling in my stomach on account of the fact that I hadn’t eaten lunch that day so I followed them and got in line behind Johnny. We took our trays of food and we sat in a booth by the soda dispenser. I sat on the right end side next to Benny and Veronica. We all ate in silence for a while until Johnny decided to break the ice and he said, “Hey Josh, would it make you feel better if you and Benny were to join me and Ronny at the park tomorrow to shoot some hoops?” I nodded unenthusiastically because I was still a little angry about the rejection from the team. We finished eating the hot dogs and then had some soft-serve ice cream for dessert.

 

After we left the diner, we took the guys home and then we headed home ourselves. Cynthia pulled into the garage and parked her car by the garage door. I knew our parents were not home because I noticed their car was not there as we went inside the house. That did not surprise me because they always went out of town on the weekends. Our house was the biggest on the block; it had an outdoor pool on the patio and a balcony upstairs, which was accessible from my room. It also had five bedrooms inside, one for me, which was the second biggest, compared to my parent’s bedroom, one for a guest, and two for the girls.

 

Even though it had been a very long and hard day, I was not tired yet so I decided to go take a soak in the pool hoping to calm my nerves because there is something about being in the water that just helps relax the soul and soothe the body. I went into the laundry room and changed into my swim trunks. I slowly plopped down into the pool and I was just beginning to relax when I heard the patio doors open and saw the girls coming to join me. They both got in the opposite end of the pool and started swimming around as if they were doing laps. Later as it got dark we all dried off and went back inside to relax. Later that night while I was watching TV, many things kept racing through my mind. I kept saying to myself, “Josh, you have to stay calm and remember that they say when you’ve hit rock bottom the only way to go is up. Yeah that’s right; just stay positive, I mean things will get much better right? They have to and they will. Just keep remembering that and they’ll get better.” As I started to doze off to sleep, little did I know that what I said about things getting better would start happening sooner then I expected.

 

Things started getting better the next morning when Benny and I went to the park to join Johnny and Ronny for a game of hoops. It was Saturday so we knew that not too many people would be there that early on the weekend. When we got to the park, the only person there was a young redhead girl who was shooting hoops on the court. As we waited for the guys to show up, I couldn’t help looking at the girl whom I easily noticed was extremely pretty. After the guys arrived I got to thinking and said, “Maybe this wasn’t the best idea you guys, so I think I’m just going to go home.” I picked up the ball and threw it over my head thinking I was throwing it to Benny but instead it bounced past him and on to the court towards the girl who picked it up and walked towards me and asked, “Excuse me but is this your basketball that you dropped?” I turned around and got a good look at her, she had bright red hair and bright blue eyes that sparkled like sapphires. I answered, “Yes it is, thank you very much. I thought I threw this to my friend over there but I guess I accidentally threw it to you. By the way, my name is Josh Myers. What’s your name?” She giggled and replied, “My name is Stacy Brummet. It’s very nice to meet you Josh.” I said, “Same here. Would you like to play ball with me and my friends?” She replied, “I’d be honored to join in and by the way I actually know who you are because we all go to the same school together.” I knew I had seen her somewhere before and now I knew where, she went to school with us and she was my next-door neighbor, she lived in the second biggest house right next to us. We walked over to the guys. I did the introductions, “Stacy, I’d like you to meet my best friend Benny Jones and our new friends Johnny Vennaro and Ronny Thomas. This is Stacy Brummet and coincidentally she goes to school with us and she has offered to play the game with us so I guess she could play for both sides.” We all played together for an hour and then the guys wanted to go get some ice cream at Dog Years. I wanted to go as well but I also hoped that Stacy wanted to go so I asked, “Stacy, do you want to come and join us for ice cream at Dog Years?” She smiled and replied, “After playing some b-ball in heat like this, I’d have to be silly to refuse an offer like that.”

 

We all started walking to the diner. The guys walked ahead and I walked beside Stacy hoping to learn more about her and I wanted her to know more about me. I asked her, “What kind of things are you interested in Stacy?” She replied, “The things that I’m into the most are movies, books, basketball, swimming and music.” I smiled and said, “Really? That’s amazing, because I like all of that stuff too.” I was truly amazed at that moment, there I was walking down the sidewalk with a pretty girl who I only met an hour ago and we already shared the same interest in certain things like movies and especially basketball. I could tell right then and there that this was going to be the start of a great and serious friendship; Maybe even more than that.

 

Later when we were at Dog Years, I told Stacy why I was upset this morning and she said, “I know exactly how you guys feel because I’m just like you and I know how it feels to be good at something and not have a chance to show it.” I thought about that for a minute and then I said, “Don’t you guys see what this means? Think about it for a minute. The five of us are all complete strangers bonded together by one common thing, we are all great at basketball and we’ve all been shut out for chances to show it. Therefore, here is what I think. I think that we all should form our own team and recruit some other schoolmates like ourselves who are also good at basketball.” Everyone was nodding in agreement when a familiar voice rang out from the booth next to us, “Just who do you think you’re fooling Myers; the entire school perhaps? Because I think the only one you’re fooling is yourself.” The voice belonged to Darren Dalton, the captain and point guard for the Cobras. The two people sitting next to him were his brother Matthew Dalton and his girlfriend Vanessa Banks. I got up slowly, walked over to him and said, “What the heck are you talking about Dalton?” He replied, “I mean, that your idea of forming your own basketball team is a stupid idea because guys like you and your beatnik friends; I mean they can’t help that they’re no good. So my advice to you is to forget about your silly idea and just stick to playing street ball because that’s all you will ever be able to play outside of school.” I clenched my fists and my eyes were filled with rage. I said to him, “You’re going to regret ever saying that at all Darren Dalton, because you’re very wrong on every count! We’re forming our own team.” Matthew stood up and said, “The school rules clearly state: one school, one team so we can’t have two teams in the school.” Ronny said, “We can have a play-off game.” I looked at him with a smile and then I looked back at Darren and said, “How about it Dalton? You give us a month to recruit more players, and find a coach to train us, and we will have an official play-off in the school gym at the end of next month. Meet us at half-court.” Darren replied, “You got yourself a deal Myers.” We shook hands and then my friends and I left the diner. Benny and the guys headed home and I walked home with Stacy.

 

The next morning, we recruited three more people to join the team. We recruited Tiffany Smith who was a speedy handler, Danny O’Shea who was a former center player, and Freddy Harris who was a specialist with basketball plays. He volunteered to be our playmaker. After meeting the new players, I brought up the first order of business, which was picking our positions. Danny being the tallest volunteered to play center, Ronny and Johnny volunteered to play as the small forward and power forward, Stacy and Tiffany volunteered to take turns as point guard, and Benny and I agreed to take turns as shooting guard. We decided that the second order of business was to find someone to be our coach but we would worry about that later. In the meantime, we decided to have our first team practice. We ran drills for about two and a half hours before we decided to call it quits for the day. As we sat on the bench to rest for a while, I looked across the park and saw a man in the distance walking over to us. He came up to us and said, “I was watching you kids play and it looks like you could use some help.” I said, “No offense to you mister but you’re a little seasoned.” He laughed and said, “Seasoned? I’m not asking to play son; I’m offering to coach. I’m Thomas O’Malley.” I was befuddled and asked, “Tom O’Malley: The three-time high school champion for the Cobras from 1977 to 1979?” He nodded and sat down between Benny and me. He said “I was the champion all those years ago and I would’ve been the champ for a fourth time in 1980 except the coach called me into his office a week before the championship game and he sent me home because of my knee injuries. A week goes by and the team goes on and wins the championship without me. So I think that if I train you kids to play against the Cobras, then I’ll get a second chance to relive the moment of my life that got away.” We were all silent for a moment and then Danny spoke up, “Wow, Tom I am amazed at what you’ve just said and I for one would be honored if you would coach and train us.” Tiffany added, “Yeah because we really could use a professional former player like you to help us out.” Freddy threw in his two bits and said, “You could also help me work on special plays that we could study and teach the team.” But Benny had a question, “But how do you happen to know about our bet with the Cobras?” Tom said, “I happened to be at the diner yesterday and I overheard you and the Dalton boys making your wager.” Then I said, “Well Mr. O’Malley, welcome to our team.” The rest of us agreed and decided to meet again at the park tomorrow after school.

 

Later as we walked home, Benny thought of something and said, “Do you guys think we’re doing the right thing by forming our own team?” I said, “Of course we are Benny because we are taking a stand for the entire school and proving to everyone that we belong there.” Stacy and I waved good-bye to Benny as he headed home. We reached my house and then I asked, “Would you like to come inside my house Stacy?” She replied, “I’d love to but just not today.” I watched her walk into her house and then I walked into my house and I felt the happiest I’d yet to feel in my short life.

 

We met at the park on Monday right after school. Before we decided to run our practice drills, I stepped over to the center of the court and said, “Listen everyone, before we do our practice I think we should discuss our third order of business which is naming the team because when we face the Cobras we are going to need a name that people will remember. So if anyone has any suggestions then please feel free to speak up.”  Everyone thought hard for a moment and then Tiffany made the first suggestion, “How about the Rocky Roads?” I said, “That’s good and all but I don’t think we should name our team after an ice cream flavor.” Then Danny made the next suggestions, “How about the Iron Wolves or the Iron Wolverines?” I answered, “Those are close but not quite enough for our team name.” Johnny suggested, “What about the Mustangs?” I replied, “No but we’re getting close to a good one, I can feel it.” Freddy suggested, “How about The White Tigers?” I replied, “That’s pretty fierce, but still not enough.” Ronny had a suggestion, “What about The Crimson Cougars?” Stacy also suggested, “Or maybe The Navy Jaguars?” I replied, “No Guys. You’re not hearing me. Our name has to be completely original and unheard of, and I’d like it to not be animalistic or coloristic.” Benny, who had been writing in his notepad for quite some time finally said, “I think I’ve got the just the name for our team, and I think it fits us perfectly.” I sighed and said, “Okay, then let’s hear it. I’m sure it can’t be worse than everything else I’ve heard.” He turned his notepad to face the team so that they could see it and then he faced it towards me. It said in bold blue letters, The Streetballers. I looked closely and slowly said, “The Streetballers, The Streetballers. Yes, it is absolutely perfect! We will all show the entire school how to play basketball street-style! Benny old buddy, you are a genius, an absolute genius.” Benny said, “Really? Thanks a lot Josh.” Everyone nodded their heads in agreement. So naming the team was taken care of. Tom then had us run suicides and do push-ups for the last hour and 45 minutes of our practice run for the day.

 

After we called it quits for the day, Stacy and I walked home and this time she did want to come inside my house. We went inside and the girls were sitting in the front room wearing their bikini tops while watching TV, but they put their shirts on when they saw Stacy with me. She immediately asked me in a rather suspicious sort of voice, “Who are those two girls with the bikini tops?” I answered, “Of course, how rude of me not to introduce you to each other. Stacy, I would like you to meet my sister Cynthia and our cousin Veronica. Girls, this is my new friend Stacy Brummet.” The girls both said hi and went back to watching TV. I took her upstairs into my room and outside to the balcony. She was amazed by the fantastic view as we sat down to relax. We sat there watching the clouds go by for about ten minutes before I finally said, “Say, um are you doing anything this weekend or next weekend Stacy; because if you aren’t then I’d like to spend some time with you.” She thought for a moment and said, “Why? Do you want to ask me out on a date?” I thought, “Wow! She’s already got it figured out.” I answered, “Yes, I guess I do.” She thought again and said, “Well, I do have to go with my family to visit my grandparents this weekend but I’m not doing anything next weekend so I guess it’s a date next Saturday.” I smiled and said, “That’s great.” She went home just as it got dark. I was as excited as I could be that night because I just made a date with the most beautiful girl I had yet to meet in my young adult life.

 

Over the next few days, we worked on our shooting, dribbling, and special layup plays. On Wednesday afternoon, Tom had us line up and pick out numbers for our uniforms after he took all of our measurements. Picking our numbers made me realize that we had not yet selected our team captain so we took a vote before we selected our numbers. Ronny said, “I think that Josh should be captain because this was his idea to begin with after all, so I think he deserves to be captain. Anyone agree?” Everyone talked amongst themselves for a few minutes and then they all said that they agreed that I should be captain. Since I was now officially captain, I got to pick the first number and I chose number one, Benny picked two, Stacy picked three, Ronny picked five, Johnny chose seven, Tiffany chose ten, Danny chose fifteen and Freddy chose seventeen even though he wasn’t going to play in the game. At the end of the week, we went to Dog Years to celebrate our newfound friendship and our forming of a team.

 

The next week turned out to be a real eye-opening fun-filled one. Even though I was looking forward to my date with Stacy on Saturday, I really wanted to spend time with the rest of the team and get to know them more. On Monday, I invited Danny and Tiffany over to my house to hang out. I was about to ask them if they wanted to do something together, when Cynthia and Veronica came into the house. I introduced them to Tiffany and Danny. I could tell right away by the look in Danny’s eyes that he was interested in Veronica. Tiffany on the other hand, was interested in the fact that she had a chance to make new friends to do girl stuff. We all spent the afternoon talking amongst each other, having fun and getting to know each other better. On Wednesday, I hung out with Freddy who turned out to be not only a specialist in basketball plays, but also a math, science and computer genius. On Friday, I hung out with Ronny and Johnny at Dog Years. We talked about how well we were doing with our training and how quickly we all became great friends, and I had to agree with them because they were both absolutely right about everything that had happened over the past few weeks.

 

Finally, Saturday arrived, the day of my big date with Stacy. We had decided to go downtown for our date and we had a great evening planned for each other, dinner at Jack’s Grill, the second best restaurant in the city, and we would top it off with a walk on the beach. Cynthia and Veronica offered to drive us down there and I decided to dress slightly formal for the evening. I had dressed up in my best pair of jeans, a clean t-shirt, a lightweight jacket and I decided to wear my blue Converse sneakers. I walked next door to pick up Stacy. Her parents were not home but the front door was unlocked so I walked inside and waited in the front room for her to come downstairs. I soon heard footsteps coming from the stairs so I got up and went back into the hall. I looked up and saw Stacy and my eyes grew so wide that I thought they were going to pop out of my face. She was wearing a bright green dress covered with flowers from the top of her shirt down to her skirt and she was wearing pink high heels. She said to me, “I just want to let you know right now that my parents are aware that I’m going out but they don’t know I’m going out with you so I don’t want you to worry if something goes wrong.” I replied, “That’s fine by me because my parents don’t know I’m going out either. My parents are so slow that they don’t even know about everything that’s happened over the past few weeks.”

 

We both got into Cynthia’s car and rode downtown to the diner. As we got out of the car, Cynthia said to me, “When you’re ready for us to pick you up, just call me on your cellphone all right?” I nodded and we both watched them drive off before we went into the diner. We sat in a booth by the window and waited for someone to come take our order. While we waited, I told Stacy, “I can’t believe everything that’s happened to us over the past few weeks. I’ve made several new friends including you, I’ve formed my own basketball team and now I’m on my first date with you.” She smiled and said, “I feel the exact same way Josh. To tell you the truth, you have kind of really made my life better because before I met you and your friends, my life was going nowhere. I had very few friends, my parents were only home on the weekend and I felt like I would never belong anywhere. You changed all that and I just have to say thank you for coming into my life.” I said, “You’re very welcome Stacy.” The waiter came by to take our orders. Stacy ordered a veggie burger, a diet cola and a side salad because she said she was temporarily on a low-carb diet. I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, fries and a regular cola. When our food came, I cut up my sandwich into four separate pieces, and covered my fries in ketchup. Stacy poured ranch dressing over her salad before putting in the croutons. While we were eating, I noticed that there was some dressing dangling from Stacy’s chin. I said to her, “You have some ranch dressing on your face, let me get it for you.” I wiped it away with my finger and then I wiped it off my finger with my napkin. We finished our meal and shared a piece of chocolate mousse cake for dessert.

 

After dinner, we walked across the street to take our walk along the beach. We were walking toward the sand when she suddenly stopped. I turned around and asked, “What’s wrong Stacy?” She answered, “Nothing, nothing’s wrong, but if we’re going to walk on the sand, then I cannot do it in these heels.” She took off both of her heels and handed them to me, which I put in my backpack for safekeeping. We were walking for about forty-five minutes before we both got tired. I pulled out the beach blanket that I had in my backpack and I laid it out a few feet from the playground. We lied down to relax for a while and we watched the stars come out in the night sky. We were quiet for a short time before I broke the silence by saying, “So Stacy, what are your favorite movies?” She thought for a moment and said, “My all time favorite movies are The Notebook and 50 First Dates; how about you?” I replied, “I also love The Notebook and I especially love The Outsiders and Rumble Fish because I practically idolize Matt Dillon, he’s the coolest actor ever.” Then I asked what her favorite book was and she said, “I love the Harry Potter series and the Lemony Snicket series.” I replied, “My favorite book of course is The Outsiders.” That was when the silence returned for about ten more minutes before I finally said, “You know, there’s one thing I’ve learned about going to the beach, and that is you never go to the beach by yourself, but you never go there with just anyone either. You either go with your best friend or your girlfriend in my case, and right now I think that’s exactly what you are.” She looked at me as I continued on, “There’s no use in denying it anymore Stacy; I’m in love with you and have been since we met that day at the park. I know you may not feel the same way now but I do not care about that. I’d still be in love with you even if you weren’t in love with me.” She was silent for a moment deep in thought. She finally said, “Josh, I have a confession to make. I feel the exact same way about you. I’m really in love with you too.” We slowly leaned towards each other and gently kissed each other passionately. We kissed each other on the face for three minutes before she leaned over on top of me. We started running each other’s hands up the other’s backs as we continued kissing. We were making out on the beach for half an hour and she was about to let me take off her shirt when my cellphone started ringing like crazy. I sighed and looked at my phone; it showed that Cynthia was calling me. I answered it against my better judgment and spoke into it, “I hope this is important Cynthia because you’ve just ruined what could be the best night of my life right now.” There was a little static on my phone but I was able to hear what she said, “Look, I’m sorry Josh but Stacy’s parents are next door and they’re going crazy. They have every cop in the city out looking for her. Tell us where you are, Veronica and I will pick you up.” I told her, “We’re at the beach. We’ll wait for you on the playground.” We wrapped up the blanket and stuffed it back in my backpack. We waited on the playground for forty-five minutes before the girls arrived to pick us up. We got into the car and drove back onto the highway. I said, “I hope you realize what you’ve done Cynthia. Do you know that me and Stacy had revealed our love for each other and were expressing it before you called me on my cellphone?” Cynthia said, “I’m sorry Josh but what was I supposed to do? I was under a lot of pressure. Do you think I wanted my brother to get arrested for false accusation? I should think not.” Stacy said, “I don’t think you guys should take me home right away considering my parents have the cops out looking for me. Although it’s a shame this date has to end so soon.” I thought and said, “Maybe it doesn’t have to. We could take you to our house and you could call your parents from there and explain the situation to them. Maybe then you could stay with us for the night and we can continue our date.”

 

We got home and saw all the police cars parked outside Stacy’s house. I could not believe it because I was amazed at seeing how much her parents cared about her. My parents did not give a hang if one of us stayed out all night. We parked in the garage and went inside the house. I went into the kitchen, grabbed the phone and I handed it to Stacy. She went into the downstairs bathroom to call her parents and wipe the sand off her dress, as well as her legs and feet considering the fact that she had not put her shoes on since back at the beach. I heard her talking from the hallway. She was saying, “I’m sorry mom but I thought I made it clear to you that I was going out on a date tonight.” I could hear her mom say, “I appreciate you telling me this honey, but you neglected to tell us where you were going and who you were going with. That was why we called the police because we were worried that something might have happened to you.” Then I heard Stacy say, “Something did happen tonight Mom. I now have a new boyfriend, his name is Josh Myers and he’s a nice, sweet, and caring boy who I think even you two would approve of.” I was touched at the moment because no one had ever said anything like that about me before. I heard her go on, “So now that all this is out of the way, can I just stay here with Josh and his sister for tonight? I’m a little too embarrassed to come home now.” To our surprise, her mom said it was okay.

 

Things could not have gone better that night. It turned out that the girls had to go to a little late night get-together with the other cheerleaders. I realized that meant Stacy and I would have the house to ourselves. Cynthia was saying to Stacy, “If you guys decide to do a little swimming outside, then you can just borrow one of our swimsuits, and don’t worry because they’re all clean.” After they left, we went upstairs to my room and watched a little TV for a while. Soon it got a little warm inside so we decided to go cool off in the pool. Stacy went downstairs to change in the laundry room while I stayed upstairs to change in my room. As I was changing into my swim trunks, I looked out my window that overlooked the patio. I watched Stacy walk outside and she slowly took off her clothes. She was wearing Veronica’s leopard-skin bikini. As she got into the pool, she slowly flipped her hair back. I walked out to the patio and joined her in the pool. She swam up to me and said, “Josh, this is turning out to be one of the greatest nights of my life.” I replied, “Mine too Stacy, mine too.”

 

After about an hour of swimming, we dried off and put on clean clothes. Stacy had to borrow some of Cynthia and Veronica’s clothes for herself. We went back upstairs and decided to watch a few movies including The Notebook and The Outsiders. We settled into my bed and got comfortable, and watched movies for about two hours. Stacy, who was exhausted from our long day, soon fell asleep on my shoulder. The last thing I heard her say was, “Good night Sweet Josh.” I replied, “Good night Stacy.” I soon fell asleep as well. During the night, Stacy and I kissed again. We both took off our shirts and slowly massaged each other’s backs. As I kissed her neck, she took both of my arms, put them against her chest, and continued kissing me. I could not believe it, I was actually feeling up a girl for the first time in my life and it felt great.

 

The next morning while we waited for the girls to come home, Stacy and I went downstairs to eat some breakfast. I was wearing shorts and an unbuttoned shirt, and Stacy was also wearing shorts but she was not wearing a shirt on account of we had seen each other without shirts on last night. Stacy, who had studied cooking the year before, made us some sausage, bacon and eggs for breakfast. We ate in the front room with the TV on and did not say a word to each other for a while because neither of us wanted to be the first to talk about what we did last night. I finally caved in and broke the ice by saying, “That was some fun we had last night together wasn’t it?” She replied, “Yeah it was.” Neither of us were making sense. I asked, “Look, about what happened last night, what exactly did we do after we fell asleep?” She thought and said, “The last thing I remember was that we were watching The Outsiders and then I said good night to you and fell asleep.” I immediately remembered and said, “I just remembered the rest of it. I fell asleep too and then sometime during the night, we started kissing and making out again. We both took off our shirts and I was kissing your neck, you took my hands and placed them against your chest and you were moaning very passionately. That is all I can remember. What I want to know is did you enjoy it last night because I sure as heck did.” She said, “Yes, I really did enjoy it, it was the most fun I’ve ever had. I think we should keep this to ourselves and not let our friends or parents know about this little experience.” I replied, “They’re going to find out eventually because both your parents and the girls know that we’ve been here together all night. While we’re on the subject, I agree that we don’t tell anyone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk about it unless you don’t want to of course.”

 

We did not talk about it anymore that day. Stacy went upstairs to take a shower while I stayed downstairs watching TV. The phone rang and I picked it up, it showed that Veronica was calling me. I clicked the phone and spoke into it, “Hey Veronica, how’s it going?” She said, “Everything’s fine Josh. Listen I thought you might like to know that Cynthia and me are going to stay here at Vanessa’s house a little longer than we thought. So if you and Stacy want some more alone time than you have it for another couple of hours before we come home.” I could not believe my luck. We had the house to ourselves for another few hours. I went up to tell Stacy the news just as she got out of the shower. I told her, “Veronica just told me they won’t be home for another few hours so we still have the house to ourselves for a while.” Stacy smiled and went into my room to dry off and put on her clean clothes. We cuddled and watched TV in my room until the girls came home. Stacy kissed me goodbye and headed home. The girls started asking about last night almost immediately. Veronica asked, “What exactly did you do?” I replied, “All we really did was kiss a lot, there was a little under the shirt and over the shirt action, and some back massages, but that was it.” Then Cynthia started to ask me, “So did you guys like?” I knew what she was trying to say and I instantly said, “No! We did not go that far. Besides, I did not expect us to on the first date. Although I do know one thing, Stacy and I are officially in love.”

 

After our night together, Stacy and I could not keep our eyes off each other over the next couple of days. We were doing everything together as often as possible. We even took time during the week to play matchmaker and set up dates for some of our friends who had been crushing on each other for some time. On Monday, we invited Danny and Veronica out for a date at the movies and I think they hit it off pretty quickly from what I saw. On Wednesday, Stacy invited Tiffany and Johnny over to my house to hang out. It turned out that they had the same interest in certain hobbies like books, movies and creative writing. At the end of the day, Johnny offered to walk Tiffany home and she took him up on it, and that was when they hit it off. Finally, on Friday, I asked Benny to come to my house and help me go over the special plays we had been working on. I asked him this so I could fix him up with Cynthia who he had a crush on since the day they met. We were looking over the plays when Cynthia walked in, and I decided to leave them alone for a while so they could talk. I waited in the kitchen for at least ten minutes before they started talking to each other. Benny was saying, “Cynthia look, I know this is going to sound awkward, but I have had a crush on you since the day I met you at school. There I said it.” She replied, “You know Benny? I have had the exact same feelings for you the whole time; how about we continue this conversation at dinner tomorrow? Is it a date?” Benny was speechless like a mime, but he managed to say, “Yes I’d love to go out with you tomorrow night.” Stacy and I planned to see each other again Saturday night as well and we were as thrilled as we could be.

 

When Saturday arrived, I had a huge revelation. I realized that we had only one week left before our big game and I was the only one who hadn’t told my parents about it, much less about anything I had done over the last month. I had to tell them soon, and I had a few good reasons as to why. For one thing, I did not want to be the only one on my team that day without my parents there to cheer me on. Another reason was that I never had a chance to tell them about all the new friends I made, including my own girlfriend. I decided to tell them when they came home that night, at least then I would be able to introduce them to Stacy and catch them up on everything else. Stacy and I were cuddling each other and watching TV in my room for two hours before I heard the front door open.

 

I walked downstairs with Stacy following behind me and we both walked into the dining room. My parents were busy typing on their laptops so they had not seen us walk into the room. I cleared my throat several times before they acknowledged and looked up at me. My dad asked me, “What do you need son?” I said to them, “Mom, Dad. I want to introduce you to Stacy Brummet, our next door neighbor and my new girlfriend.” Stacy waved hello and mom replied, “I didn’t know you had a girlfriend. I for one am surprised at you.” I sat down and said, “There are a lot of things you guys don’t know about. For one thing, you do not know that Benny and I have formed our own basketball team and have been practicing with them everyday after school. We also have scheduled a play-off game with the high school team at the end of the month, which is next week. The last thing you don’t know is that Stacy and I have been dating for almost the entire month and the girls have been dating for the past few days.” Dad replied to me, “That’s wonderful son, you should be proud of yourself because I sure am.” I thought to myself, “Okay, things are going good so far. Now to see if I can convince them to come to the game.” I said to them, “While we’re still on the subject, would you guys want to come to the game on Friday afternoon?” Then things turned ugly. Mom said, “I don’t think we can make it on Friday because we have so much work ahead of us.” Dad added, “We are going to be busy for the rest of the week.” I could not stand it anymore! I stood up and kicked my chair aside, and then I slammed my fist on the table! I yelled at them, “You are the worst parents ever! You care more about your jobs then you care about your own children! You forget our names half the time, you’re never home except in the mornings, and you’re so involved in your work that you don’t take time during the day to even call us to see how we’re doing! The worst thing of all is that I cannot even remember the last time you said “I love you” to any of us! Now you don’t even want to come to your own son’s basketball game and see his team play.” Dad was appalled, “Don’t use that tone of voice with me young man or you will be grounded.” I snapped at him, “Go ahead and see if I care. You won’t be here to stop me from going to my game on Friday anyway.” As Stacy and I turned to leave the room, I looked back and said, “You guys really are bad parents, because you don’t give a hang about any of us, and just for the record, you guys have never done anything for any of us but yourselves. Do you know what I think? I think you two should spend a little more time having a life and getting to know your own kids again and a little less time trying to improve your work life. You might be better off. I want you to think about what I just said. If you decide to come to the game, then come upstairs and let me know.”

 

I ran upstairs into my room and kicked at my nightstand as I slumped onto my bed trying to hide the tears. I couldn’t believe what I said to my parents but it was true, everything I said about them not saying “I love you” and not caring about us was the absolute truth; if me or the girls were found dead somewhere, they wouldn’t even care. In fact, I wouldn’t have been surprised if dad got up and slugged me in the face, but I knew he wouldn’t because no one in the family had ever hit us at all. I was sitting on my bed sobbing when I felt an arm wrap around my shoulder, I turned around and saw Stacy sitting beside me. I took her in my arms and hugged her gently as I kissed her cheek. That was the first in a long time that I ever cried about anything because I was not a crier at all.

 

Meanwhile, down in the dining room, my parents were thinking hard about what I had said to them. Mom was saying to dad, “You know something Dave, Josh is absolutely right. We are bad parents. What kind of parents don’t take time to talk to their own children, much less spend time with them? I can’t even remember the last time either of us said that we loved them.” Dad thought hard and said, “You’re right Jane, we have been bad parents, and now we have to set things right one way or another.” Mom asked, “How can we do that?” Dad replied, “First off, we go upstairs and apologize to him and tell him he was right. Then we congratulate him on making his new friends and his girlfriend. Third we tell him that we will go to his game and cheer on him and his friends.” They walked out of the dining room and walked upstairs to my room.

 

Stacy was still hugging me trying to calm me down when my dad knocked on the door. They walked in and my dad asked, “Are we interrupting anything Josh?” I said, “No, we were just comforting each other.” My mom said, “Josh, we talked about what you said and you were right about us being bad parents and not caring about you or the girls and we want to make it up to you. We are going to take the week off to spend time with you and the girls. Hopefully we’ll also get to know your new friends as well as your new girlfriend.” She looked at Stacy as she said that to me. I could not believe it; my parents were actually taking my advice and were apologizing to me, not to mention admitting I was right for a change. I got up and hugged them tightly. I slept well that night knowing that my parents were going to come to my game, and the fact that they finally met my girlfriend. One thing was for sure, this last week was going to be an ultra sure-fire blast.

 

Now that we had one last week of training left, Tom had us running suicides and doing jumping jacks and pushups more than ever! Freddy was going over his plays as often as possible wanting to make sure we knew them by heart. Veronica and Cynthia came by on Tuesday with some good news for us. Cynthia told me, “I have good news for you Josh, Veronica and I are going to be cheering for you and your team instead of the Cobras on Friday.” Veronica added, “We even came up with a cheer of our own, and we will now demonstrate it for you and the team.” They both stepped to the center of the court and did their cheer, “We are the Streetballers and we don’t mean to dis ya, we’re gonna kick your butts and then we’ll kiss ya!” We all thought that it was very good and very catchy. On Wednesday afternoon, Tom brought us some sodas for a little pre-game party at the park. We were all drinking our pop and messing around when Tom asked us to gather around for a little speech. He said to us, “I just want to take a moment to say that in all my years as a high school basketball player, you are the best assembled team I’ve ever had a chance to work with and I’ve enjoyed it. I also want to say that in honor of all your hard work, I want you all to take tomorrow off and do what you feel like doing. However, I also want you to prepare yourself for the ultimate game of your life, so remember that tomorrow.” We all left the park chanting, “What team is this? Streetballers! What will we do? Beat the Cobras! And what will we be? The official high school team!”

 

We all did different things on Thursday. Johnny invited Ronny to hang out with him on his date with Tiffany. Veronica, Danny and Freddy hung out at the local amusement park. Benny and Cynthia went out to a movie. As for me and Stacy, we spent the day doing several things together. We ate lunch at Dog Years, enjoyed ice cream at the park, and then we did a little bike riding. After we finished biking, we started walking home and ran into Darren, Matthew and Vanessa. I walked up to Darren and said, “I hope you guys are excited about the big game tomorrow because I know we are.” Before Darren could answer, Vanessa said, “You bet we are excited and we are ready to beat you guys tomorrow.” Matthew added, “I hope you are ready to lose because we are ready to win. We will beat you!” Darren finished by saying, “We’ll see you tomorrow and we’ll beat you and then we’ll show the whole school what a joke you guys really are.” I glared and said, “We’ll see about that Dalton, we’ll just see about it.”

 

Stacy and I turned and walked the rest of the way home. She decided to spend the night at my house. We were both very excited that night; we were partying as if we already won the game even though it was not until tomorrow. I was excited the most because I knew that our chance to prove that we belonged in the school was going to go down tomorrow afternoon. The only thing I was worried about was whether or not any of the Cobra team members would be willing to join up with us, because if we won, the deal was that we would become the official high school team.

 

I had a bad dream that night about the game, we were playing our hardest and we still could not win against the Cobras. Everyone was laughing at us and the pressure grew and got so terrible that I just completely collapsed in the center of the court. I awoke with a shock. I was so shaken up and nerve-struck that I somehow gently moved Stacy’s arm off of me and went over to the bathroom for a drink of cold water trying to calm my nerves. While I was drinking my water, Stacy woke up and asked me, “What’s the matter Josh?” I replied, “I just had a bad dream about the game, that’s all.” Next, she asked, “Do you need some comforting?” I answered, “That would be nice and helpful.” Now that I was wide-awake again, I went back into my room, set my water on the nightstand and turned the TV on. Watching TV helps calm me down when I get very nervous. Stacy put her arm around me and asked, “What exactly happened in your nightmare?” I tried to remember and said, “I had this feeling like a vision or something. We were playing as hard as we could and no matter how hard we tried, we just could not seem to beat them and everyone was laughing at us. The pressure grew and got so bad that I just collapsed right in the center of the court. Then I woke up. It was like those premonitions from the Final Destination movies or something like that.” Stacy replied, “I think you’re just worried that you will be in over your head tomorrow and you’ll end up letting everyone down, including your parents and yourself.” I thought long and hard about that and said, “You’re probably right. That’s exactly what I’m feeling like; just a bunch of pre-game jitters. You’re really good at this Stacy; you should maybe consider a job as a therapist someday.” She smiled and said, “Thank you.” I just hoped that she was right as I turned off the TV. I finished drinking my water and we both went back to sleep.

 

We woke up early on Friday morning; as we ate breakfast together, we had only one thing on our mind and that was the game; the game that would finally prove to the entire school that we belonged. The rest of the team showed up at the house two hours after lunch. They were all dressed in different sportswear. Benny was wearing a headband. Johnny was wearing a bandana. Ronny was wearing sweatbands. Tiffany was wearing a wristband. Danny chose to wear his best gym shoes. Freddy chose to wear a baseball cap. Stacy and I chose not to wear any sportswear. After the girls got ready, we all got in the cars and drove to the school.

 

When we got to the school, my parents went into the school gym and we went into the locker room to meet with Tom. We walked in and saw Tom holding a big box tucked under his arm. He set the box down and said, “Sit down for a minute everyone. I want to give one last speech before our big game. I said before that this is the best team I have ever had a chance to work with. So because you all trained like a team and will play like a team, I thought that you all should look like a team.” He opened the box and said to me, “Josh Myers, I believe this is yours.” He pulled out a red basketball jersey with blue letters and a big C-initial for captain stitched to it. Everyone’s jaws dropped open as I went over and took my jersey. Tom handed out more jerseys and matching shorts to the rest of the team. He then said to us, “The girls can change on that side and you boys can stay here and change. After you put on the jerseys, I’ve got one last thing to tell you guys.” We were all excited as we changed into our official team jerseys. After we changed, Tom said to us, “I just want to say one last thing to you guys. When you step onto that court, I do not want any of you to worry about winning or losing, I just want you to have fun. Because win or lose, this is going to be the greatest day of your lives. Now let’s go out there and show those Cobras exactly who we are and what we can do. But above all, let’s have fun out there.” We all put our hands together and we all said, “One, two, three, Streetballers!”

 

We all left the locker room and slowly made our way to the gym. I pushed open the door and we all entered. We gazed at all the people as we walked over to our bench to sit down. The announcer’s voice echoed through the entire gym as he said, “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Today you will witness what should prove to be the wildest game of high school basketball ever. Today’s play-off game will determine who will become the official high school team. Will it be our reigning team The Cobras, or our new challengers who call themselves The Streetballers?” Then he said, “Now, the starting line-up for The Cobras, Darren Dalton, Matthew Dalton, Bryan Sanders, Jake Parker, and Tim Matthews.” Each of them got up and walked to the right side of the court. The announcer then said, “And now the starting line-up for The Streetballers, Josh Myers, Stacy Brummet, Ronny Thomas, Johnny Vennaro, and Danny O’Shea.” We got up and walked to the left side of the court. The referee called Darren and I to the center of the court to shake hands with each other. The referee said, “I want to see a nice clean game from each and every one of you.”

 

We all took our positions on the court. The referee threw the ball into the air as the buzzer went off. Danny and Tim jumped up to hit the ball and Danny hit it right to me. I started sprinting and dribbling down the court looking to pass to someone. I was about to pass it off to Johnny when Darren ran in front of me and stole the ball away. He dribbled past everyone and shot the ball right into the net. All of our parents were booing them off. Amidst all the booing, I could hear the girls doing the cheer for our team; I looked at them and smiled.

 

The announcer was saying, “On a brilliant but underhanded steal by Darren Dalton, the Cobras are out to dominate this game early.” I ignored that comment and checked the ball off to Stacy. She darted down the court and passed it back to me, and I handed it off to Danny who immediately jumped and shot the ball from the three-point line. The ball flew all the way into the net. Our parents were jumping up and cheering us on while Vanessa and the other cheerleaders were chanting, “Cobras, Cobras, go, go, go. Knock those Streetballers way down low.” Matthew checked the ball and started down the court when Johnny sprinted by and stole the ball. He ran and passed it off to me and I shot the ball up, and it was nothing but net. I couldn’t believe that we already had a three-point lead over those lousy Cobras. Jake took the ball out and it was quickly stolen by Danny, who passed it off to me and then I passed it off to Stacy. She ran down the court and made an incredible shot. I could tell right away that this was going to be an intense game.

 

During the rest of the first half of the game, things went along somewhat smooth. Benny and Tiffany took over for Stacy and me during the second period, and Carter Rivers and Billy Prescott took over for Tim and Jake. We decided to run one of our plays even though we were ahead. Freddy said, “We should go with a give and give and go.” Everyone agreed and went back onto the court. Tiffany took the ball and passed it off to Benny, who faked a pass to Danny and handed it off to Johnny. Johnny ran and passed it back to Benny, who jumped and shot the ball into the net. Things started getting a little rough and intense after that. The Cobras were doing everything imaginable to keep us from scoring again and everything possible to catch up to us. They were five points away from catching up to us when the buzzer sounded to end the first half. The announcer said, “Well ladies and gentlemen, after the amazing first half of the game, the Streetballers are leading over the Cobras with the score being 25 to 20.”

 

We were all cooling off in the locker room when Tom came in and said, “You’re all playing really hard. I’m proud of you guys and I’m sure you’re all proud of yourselves as well. I know almost everyone out there expects us to lose but just try not to get too overwhelmed because we have a whole other half left to play.” I slowly got up and said, “Listen up everyone. I’ve been in this situation before with everyone counting us out. I say let them, just let them, because we can still win this thing and prove to everyone that we belong.” Benny added, “You bet we can, and we will win this thing.” Tom said, “All right everyone, let’s get back out there and finish this game.” Everyone headed out except for me. I said, “I’ll be right with you guys after I get a drink of water.” I was filling my water bottle when I heard a voice coming from the overhead airvent. I climbed up on the bench to hear what was happening. The voice was coming from the Cobras locker room, and the voice belonged to Adam Jackson, the Cobra’s coach. He was shouting at them, “How can you let those rookies get ahead of you like this?! Do you want to lose and give up being the official high school team? I didn’t think so. Now I want you to get back out there and show them that they don’t belong in that gym. Injure them enough to be pulled out of the game if you have to but don’t let them win at any cost!” They all ran out of the room and back to the gym. I didn’t like what I heard and I knew that I had to warn my team quickly. I ran out of the locker room as fast as my legs could carry me.

 

I got to the bench just before the game resumed. I was panting as I said, “Listen everyone, I overheard Coach Jackson telling his team to win at any cost, even if it means having to injure us hard enough to be pulled out of the game.” Tom said, “Alright guys, now we have to be on our guard as often as possible. We cannot let them hurt us. We came here as a team and we are leaving here as a team. Let’s get out there and finish this game.” We all put our hands in and said, “One, two, three, let’s go Streetballers.” Tiffany, Danny, Ronny, Johnny and I stepped back onto the court ready for the second half of our game. I only hoped that we would not get hurt.

 

Darren, Matthew, Bryan, Carter, and Billy were back to face us. I took out the ball and passed it off to Ronny. He headed down the court and was about to shoot the ball, when Carter cut him off and stole the ball. Carter jumped up for a shot from the foul line and the ball flew right into the net. They were now only three points behind us and that was when the game got serious. We tried to score at every chance we got, but we did not have much success. Those Cobras were now ahead of us by ten points. We were trying to catch up when the game turned ugly and personal. I was passing the ball to Danny when Billy ran up and knocked him down hard. The referee called a personal foul and allowed Danny two free throws. Danny shot and made the first free throw but missed the second one. We were now down by nine points with only ten minutes left of game time. We once again had the ball and were headed down the court. I passed the ball to Tiffany, who reached up to shoot the ball when suddenly Carter ran at her and pushed her down hard just as she shot the ball into the net. I frustratingly ran over and punched Carter in the nose just as the referee called both a time out and a personal foul on him. Johnny and I ran over to Tiffany to make sure she was okay. Johnny asked, “Are you okay Tiffany?” She replied, “He hurt my wrist Johnny. Get him thrown out of the game for me.” We helped her up and I said, “You busted your wrist for us, and now we’ll bust our backs for you.” We took her over to the bench and she slowly laid down on it next to Benny. Stacy was about to take over for Tiffany when Freddy stopped her. He said, “You and Benny stay here and help Tiffany. I’ll take her place.” I asked, “Are you sure you want to join us this late in the game?” He replied, “Hey, I didn’t join up with you guys just to sit on the bench and watch the game, besides, with my knowledge of the game, they won’t know what hit them.” We walked back onto the court and I said to Darren, “This ends now Dalton. Prepare to lose.” The announcer said, “Well folks, this is the Streetballers last chance to make a comeback in this game. Let’s see if they can pull off a full-court miracle.”

 

We once again had the ball and this time I passed it off to Freddy. He was handling that ball incredulously. He knew who to avoid and where to step. He faked pass Darren and shot from half-court. We were now seven points away from winning the game and only six minutes away from elimination. Darren picked up the ball and took it out. He passed it to Matthew, who was about to shoot from the foul line when Danny ran by and grabbed the ball away. He dribbled past everyone and pulled off an incredible slam-dunk! We decided to call a time out hoping to pull off one last big play. Freddy looked through his notebook and chose the pick androll/alley-oop hand-off because he knew that would be the last thing they’d expect us to do. There was a minute and a half remaining. Freddy took the ball out and rolled it off to Danny, who passed it off to Johnny from behind his back, and Johnny ran towards the basket and handed it off to Ronny who jumped up and planted the ball right into the basket.

 

We were now two points away from going into overtime and had one minute left to play. Tom said, “I’ve got one plan left. Ronny and Johnny, you two are sitting this last one out. Stacy and Benny will substitute for them. Now listen, we need a three pointer to win this. Nobody thought we would make it this far, but we cannot quit now. This is how we will do it. Danny, you will take the ball out and pass it off to Freddy. He will then pass it off to Benny, who will hand it off to Stacy. Stacy, will then pass it off to Josh, and he will take the shot, but make sure he has plenty of shooting room.” We all nodded and walked back onto the court ready to put the final play of the game into action.

 

Danny took out the ball and passed it off to Freddy. He ran down the court and passed it off to Benny. Benny ran down court and handed it off to Stacy. She ran and passed it off to me. I looked and saw that I had plenty of shooting room. I took a deep breath, jumped up and threw the ball. It went flying through the air, then bounced off the backboard, rolled around the rim and finally fell through the net just as the buzzer sounded to end the game.

 

Everyone was getting up from their seats and shouting their lungs out. The announcer was shouting, “The Streetballers win! I don’t believe this ladies and gentlemen! A group of underdog kids have come from out of nowhere and stomped on our own Cobras! What an outstanding victory to The Streetballers!” We were all walking on air. Tiffany was hugging both Johnny and Ronny. Veronica had leaped at Danny and was kissing him. Cynthia was kissing Benny. Freddy was doing a victory dance. As for me, I did several things. I walked over to Tom, shook his hand, and said, “Tom I want to be the first to say thanks for helping us through the best time of our lives.” He replied, “Thank you Josh, for helping me relive that moment that got away all those years ago.” Then I went over to my parents. Mom kissed me as I hugged them and said, “Mom, Dad, I just want to say thanks for believing in us and being there for me.” I looked back and saw Stacy, and I went over to her. I took her in my arms and said, “Stacy, you are absolutely the best thing that ever happened to me, and I love you for that.” We both kissed.

 

The last thing I did was walk over to shake hands with Darren and Matthew. As Darren shook my hand, he said, “Well Myers, as much as I hate to admit it, you guys really pulled it off. Congratulations.” I smiled and said, “Listen Darren, the guys and I have talked it over and we were wondering if…” I paused as Matthew asked, “What? Do you want to tar and feather us in front of everyone?” I laughed and continued, “No, actually we were wondering if you and your team wanted to join up with us; one school, one team?” Darren said, “We’ll talk it over with them, but you can definitely count us in.” Then I said, “There’s one more thing. We are going to have a little after party at my house later on tonight. Would you guys be interested in coming along?” Darren replied, “Yeah. We’d love to come to the party.”

 

Later that day, we had a big party celebrating our victory. We had all kinds of delicious food. My dad was cooking burgers and hotdogs on the barbeque, and we ordered out for other food like pizza and chicken. We had plenty of soda and punch. My mom had speakers and a microphone set up out on the patio incase anyone wanted to sing. Everyone showed up around 5:30 and were all dressed slightly formal for the party. Darren had brought along his guitar incase he wanted to play a few songs. We ended up partying the rest of the day and way into the night. Several of us got on stage and did a little singing and Darren played on his guitar.

 

After a few hours, I got up on stage and made the biggest speech of my life. I said, “Attention everyone. I have a big speech to make. This morning, we all had only one thing on our minds, to play against the Cobras in the biggest game of our lives. Nobody expected anything out of us except to lose, but we proved them wrong.” There was a high sound of applause as I went on, “I don’t know if I can speak for all of us, but I can speak for myself right now. I just want to say that when Benny and I first met all of you and formed this team, I didn’t know what to expect. I did hope to make new friends, whom I thank for sticking by my side through all of this. There were some things I didn’t expect however. For one, I didn’t expect to get a girlfriend, and I mean you Stacy. I also didn’t expect my own parents to take my advice for once. To make a long story short, I just want to say thanks to everyone. I also want to say that I look forward to spending the summer with each and every one of you.” Everyone applauded as I stepped off the stage. While the music resumed, I walked over to Stacy and said, “I especially look forward to seeing more of you over the summer.” I put my arms around her and leaned in to kiss her, but I stopped short and said, “Stacy, I have just one other thing to say. I love you.” She replied, “You know what? I love you too Josh.” We both shared a passionate kiss that seemed to last forever for the both of us.

 

So, compared to our big game, the rest of the summer was just as fun but not as exciting as that day. So, in the end, my teammates became my closest friends, my basketball coach became my mentor, my high school rivals became my best friends, and my closest friend became my girlfriend. I guess that’s high school for you. We did have other adventures over the summer, but that’s another story.

 

The End


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