In grade 7 we had our very first basketball team. A bunch of adults decided that it would be a good idea to get all the grade 7 basketball teams from surrounding schools to compete in a tournament.
As an exhibition game one of the schools came to our turf for a game. We were confident going into the game. They smoked us 48 to 8. At that age, a good indication on who will win the game is the team with the most guys who have hit puberty. When it comes to school sports, having as many people as possible who failed grade 1 is an advantage because being a year older they’re more likely to have hit puberty before everyone else. Puberty is basically a process of inducing anabolic steroids. It’s the difference between a man and a beast.
With our hopes crushed our coaches seemed confident that we would come in at least 2nd to last place in the tournament. We wanted to believe it because we didn’t want to be the shittiest team. If you know you’re going to be the shittiest team then you might as well not show up and give the honours to someone else. Heck, you’re better off going to watch and laugh at whoever comes in last. Looking back, it was a fairly irrational hope that we weren’t the worst. To believe that we weren’t would mean there would have to be a team out there who could score less than 8 points. For you non-basketball fans out there, a basket is worth 2 points which makes 8 points seem even less impressive.
There were 6 teams in the tournament and 4 of them smoked us by a wide margin. Our last game was against that team we were supposed to beat. We lost. Any plans to join the high school basketball team next year were diminished. It was just going to be comprised of the best players from each team who crushed us so what would be the point? With my basketball career over, the following year in grade 8 I picked up smoking, hooky and failing 5 out of 8 courses.