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Summer of Sports: Basketball!

Posted by | August 05, 2011 | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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First baseball, then soccer. Next up: basketball! Today is Kyle and Owen’s last day of Lehigh’s week long, intensive, summer basketball camp for boys. Do you see the photo above? I took it yesterday when I picked them up from basketball camp. It is a photo of two boys IN HEAVEN.

This was Kyle and Owen’s first exposure to playing real basketball. They had played around with shooting hoops, we had gone to Lehigh basketball games, and of course they idolize their babysitter Zahir (who sometimes plays basketball with them in our driveway or on campus). But K & O had never actually officially played the game before this week. After 7 hour days of nothing but basketball, basketball, and more basketball, it is safe to say that these boys are now fully basketball immersed. And loving it. Loving it to the point that…

…this is big…

…I am willing to go on record here and now to say this: If I had to put a wager on it today, forced to guess which sport these two boys will really hone in on, my guess would be basketball. Owen especially. I think he’s found his game. And I don’t say that lightly. That is huge. Because once they decide what they want, these boys do it. Believe me. So, I – for one – am going to be carefully and as nonchalantly as possible keeping my eyes on my two boys on the basketball court.

Each day I went a few minutes early to watch them play before pick-up. They amaze me. They are scrappy. They are eager. They are fast. They are like miniature basketball stars. I don’t know how they picked up so much so fast, but they did. They shoot. Swoosh. They are fun to watch.

Yesterday when I went to pick them up, Kyle said to me, “Mommy, who is LeBron James?” I said, “I am pretty sure he’s a really famous professional basketball player.” He said, “Oh.” Then he ran off to fill up his gatorade bottle. A while later he said, “Mommy, you know what? You know what they call us at basketball camp? They call me and Owen ‘The Twin LeBron James’” “Oh.” I said, and kept my thoughts to myself.

This is a great game for them. It is about as fast-paced as it gets. And that works well for my bottomless-pit-of-energy, non-stop, can’t-wear-them-out boys. And it should not go unnoted how much more racially diverse basketball is compared to other big-time sports. Specifically, a lot of black kids play basketball—and Kyle and Owen notice—and Kyle and Owen love that. They loved it that the majority of their coaches this week were young black men (they expressed this clearly and often). And they loved feeling great about themselves as black boys on the b-ball court. One of their new Basketball Camp friends, who is black, came up to me yesterday and asked me what I use on K & O’s hair to make it smell so good— he wanted me to tell his mom what it was and where to buy it!— this is a great example of little things that make a big difference in the daily life and self-confidence of black kids adopted into white families living in predominantly white communities; this stuff matters.).

My boys have loved every dimension of this week of basketball heaven. And I’ve loved watching them love it. You heard it here first: this mixture (K & O + basketball) is one to watch.

1a 1b

K & O heading off for first day of basketball camp…

2a 2b

…and they’re off!

 3b

…and at it!

3a

…and loving it!

5 Comments

  • Poetry says:

    I have to say the last paragraph or so made me cry. As a mama to two biracial children I understand wanting them to connect and FEEL connected to people who look like them. At times I struggle to find a balance between their two worlds…the one where they are almost always the only brown face in the room and the one where they are surrounded by MY culture.

    I truly love your blog and what do you use on their locs…maybe I can use it on mine. LOL!

  • Kate says:

    It sure is a summer of sports – wow wow wow the boys must be having a ball (pun intended!)!! I so get the joy and the difference it makes on one’s self-confidence to be part of the majority for once. And that comment from Kyle and Owen’s new Basketball Camp friend must have melted your heart….it sure did mine!
    - Kate

  • Gail McCormick says:

    This is so strange. It’s exactly the sport I would have guessed they’d zero in on even tho they could do pretty much anything. They are soooooo amazing.

    See you later.

  • Erin says:

    Grant Hill went to my high school. He was a few years behind me. If you don’t know who he is you should look him up. He’s my favorite basketball player, although I am certainly willing to switch my allegiances if two other players happen to come along.

  • Yve says:

    So glad they’re enjoying it,
    as a mother of one of those ‘excel at anything I turn my hand to’ boys I cast my vote strongly for basketball, you may not think of this yet, but 5-10 years on you will LOVE
    - indoor stadiums
    - less expensive equipment
    - (generally) less travel time to meets
    - athletically intense but less physically dangerous
    - and I’ve found, fewer ugly parents/ugly player behaviour for some reason? (I have theories about the effect of the smaller stadium environment v big fields etc)
    Having said that, my boy decided that he loves football best so I’ll just look back fondly on those warm days in the basketball stadium. Good luck to your boys!
    Yve

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