10 People You’ll See At Every Pickup Basketball Game
Whenever I’m back home for winter or summer break, my friend Nick and I have a tradition: playing pickup basketball at the downtown YMCA. We’ve been going regularly for the past 3 and a half years, and in that time, we’ve seen our share of characters on the courts. From the guy who was playing in Timberland Boots, jeans, and a wife beater, to the guy who simply introduced himself to us as “Diesel,” it seems we add a new story each visit. However, as sure as the Capitals are poised for a disappointing playoff run this spring, there are usually the same type of players every visit. While the names of the players may change, there’s always the same type of people that fall into the mold of: The 10 People You’ll See at Every Pickup Basketball Game.
1) The Quiet Guy Who’s REALLY Good:
The only thing more silent and deadly than this guy is that foul smell in the men’s locker room. Like Santa Clause in the Night Before Christmas, he says not a word, but goes straight to his work crossing over, swatting shot attempts and hitting miraculous shots.
2) The Middle Schooler Who’s Playing For Some Reason:
You question why he’s here. That is, until he starts hitting three, after three, after three.
3) The Guy Who’s Trying WAY Too Hard:
There’s being competitive, and then there’s whatever this guy is doing. It’s as if he’s trying to avenge the death of an ancestor by playing pickup basketball. He’s trying way too hard, and crosses the line when he swats the bejeezus out of the middle schooler (see above). Calm down bro. This is the Omaha Downtown YMCA, not game seven of the NBA finals. There’s about a 100% chance he’s taking all of his team’s shots as well.
4) The Kid Decked Out In Expensive Gear:
He’s got all the looks of an NBA player, except the skill. The shooting sleeve, the expensive shoes, the headband, it’s all there. His fresh kicks are squeaky clean, his neon shorts scream “notice me,” and the “My game is sick. Too bad it ain’t contagious” Nike shirt he’s wearing gives the impression that his mother just dropped him off to get rid of him for a couple of hours.
5) The Guy That Brings His Girlfriend To Watch Him Play:
It’s cool when your parents came to watch your youth basketball games. It’s nice when significant others come to the games of their college or pro athletes. It’s downright weird bringing someone for the sole purpose of watching you play a meaningless basketball game at the YMCA.
6) The Lone Girl:
It takes courage to dive into a world of sweat, excessive amounts of testosterone, and curse words galore, but this girl takes on the role admirably. Often times more confident than most of the males playing, she’s usually a very solid player.
7) The Middle Aged Guy Who’s Dominating Everyone:
He’s been hooping since before you were even born. While not the quickest player, his fundamentals are solid, awareness is excellent, and he just knocked down a shot right in your face. He’s not about to go easy on some young whipper-snapper like you. And if he’s guarding you, watch out, you’re in for a long day.
8) The Guy That Sweats Too Much:
Admittedly, this is me. He doesn’t seem to be trying all that hard, but for whatever reason, the flood gates have opened. It’s as if every pore in his body has combined to produce something similar to Niagara Falls. If he falls on the ground, even for just a second, the court will turn into a slip and slide indefinitely.
9) The Trash Talker:
When you shoot any shot, he’ll yell “short!” When he attempts any shot, he’ll yell “money!” After the slightest amount of contact, he’ll yell “and one!” If you’re on his team, it’s bearable. If you’re on the other team however, he’s insufferable. Anything he says directly translates to “someone punch me in the face!”
10) The Kid On His Phone On The Sideline:
Is he waiting to get in the next game, updating his fantasy basketball lineup, or texting his ride to pick him up? No one knows for sure, and quite honestly, no one particularly cares. No one is positive if he’s there to play, or just content to sit around on his phone. Either way, he’s been sitting there for the past half hour.