My 9 year old son loves basketball. And he’s a great shot when he’s just shooting without defenders. Him and his dad even won 1st place in his school’s PIG tournament! That was so AWESOME. He was so happy and proud of himself.
His problem lies in a game. Shooting with defenders. How to maneuver around the basketball court. He’s never quite sure where to be and when. Not sure how to get open. And then if he does get the ball, he freezes. Afraid to dribble (even though in this league, there’s no stealing). Afraid to pivot, turn, and shoot. Just paralyzed until, finally, he passes it off.
All that being said, he has improved quite a bit throughout the season. He’s getting more rebounds, being more aggressive. It’s fun to see the growth.
So, today was the day. He has not scored a basket in his 2 seasons in this league. But today….you could feel it in the air. Something magical was going to happen. The coaches have even set up some plays that specifically get him (and one other kid) the ball now. They want him to score just as badly as my son does and me and my husband do!
The game went on. They ran the play a few times. Sometimes he just didn’t end up getting the ball. A couple times he did but passed. A couple he actually did shoot, but missed. But then…in the last 5 minute period…the stars all aligned. The play was running, he popped out to the right like he should, the point guard faked a pass to him there and then my son zips through to the middle where he is now wide open, right near the basket. Point guard passes, Ryan catches it, he shoots…I hold my breath…and…… it goes in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I screamed as loud as a proud mama could and should when her baby makes his first basket in the big league!!!!! Everyone on his bench was up and cheering. It was such an amazing moment.
You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face the rest of the game. Or his, I think. Afterwards, his coach gave him a big pat on the back and very enthusiastically told him how awesome that was!
As we’re walking out to the car, I ask him if he heard me yelling and cheering for him. He says no, my whole team was cheering for me so loudly, that’s all I heard!!
And that just tugs at my heart. He suffers a lot socially at school. So for him to have this awesome, positive experience with these boys. It means more to me and to him than you could ever imagine. To see my son so happy that those boys were cheering for HIM.
I wish him so so many more experiences like THAT. Peers cheering him on. Peers being kind to him. Him feeling good about a social experience.