I don’t remember exactly when it started but I like playing basketball. I never tried walking on and playing in college, but friends and I used to travel to lots of different parks to play ball and I was on a city league team for a couple of years (one year we won the “championship”)
It is definitely a good way to get exercise. I have a pretty high kinesthetic awareness; that helps a lot. I remember it started out after high school sometime with me and a friend just shooting baskets. Other guys would come around and want to play 2 on 2 or 3 on 3. Sounds cool, we were down. After a while we start getting pretty good. The community center gym we were playing in gets more and more full later in the evening and 5 on 5 games become more organized so we start hanging around for those.
When there was around 15 guys or so wanting to play ball the first 5 to make a free throw would be one team, the next five would be the challengers. The rest waited for next. A game was played to 21, each basket one point and you had to win by at least two. The winning team got to play again and the guys waiting around got to shoot a free throw to make the next team. Those were the rules for that gym.
As my friend and I got more and more into playing ball we got other friends involved until we had a five man team. We had started traveling to other community center gyms and parks and got involved in more competitive games and with more competitive players. In some of the more competitive places you simply lined up a team and challenged the winning team from the previous game. Lots of guys showed up without a team so you would just make them up on the spot. Chances of being successful and playing longer than one game were greater if you came as a team, meaning you probably knew each other and had played with each other before.
That was a good time. Always went home with scratches and bruises 😀 That period of my life finally ended when I went home with more scratches and bruises than I cared for, but it was also the time when we were one of the more competitive playground teams and would stay on the court most of the night.
At the time my bother-in-law was on a city league team. He knew I played some ball. He had played some college ball and the guys on his team were former college ball players too. They were all in their 30’s but still in great shape. I joined their team and got a lot of playing time as there was only 7 of us on the team. It was awesome playing with former college players. They made the game so easy with their spacing and passing. All I had to do was run and find open spaces and BAM, I’d get the ball 😀 The worst/dirtiest teams we played against were the cops and firemen. Elbows, slaps, hard fouls were the norm. One game against the cops as I drove for what I thought was going to be an uncontested layup two hands shoved me in the back as I went up in the air. The end of the court was only about 2 feet from the basket. The wall was padded but the padding was only about an inch thick. My body slammed from my face to my knees into the wall. I lost consciousness for a moment and when I could see and hear again I could see my teammates pushing and shoving the cops around, well, it was mutual, and it was awesome 😀
Now a days I just mostly shoot around by myself at the park and run around a little doing layup drills. Sometimes a kid will want to play a little one on one with an old guy and I accommodate them. At least I don’t get beat by double digits 😀 This guy can still get some shots down and make a few steals 😀