Seeing as how we're all sitting around with nothing to do and no sports to watch, my mind started to wander. Considering about 85% of my day consists of watching old basketball highlights it made me think back to what my most impressive athletic achievement was before I became an old washed up blogger. Now maybe you're a stoolie who is reading this blog that is some sort of five star recruit or played D1 sports and you have a lot of awesome athletic memories. Well, as a relatively average white jewish kid from Worcester, MA you'll never believe this but my athletic resume does not include any D1 sports. Chances are there are a ton of more average people like me who played sports their whole life but peaked relatively early in their athletic career. But when you were at that peak, wooooah buddy were you unstoppable. It obviously didn't last, but everyone who played sports growing up has one or two moments that even all these years later stick with you. For me, two come to mind, so allow me to dive into two quick stories.
The first came during 8th grade basketball season. Here's a little known fact about me, up until my sophomore year of high school before my nuts finally dropped, I was short as hell. Like, needed a stepping stool to see over the bimah at my bar mitzvah short. But 8th grade Greenie could play. Always played a level up at every summer camp I went to (shoutout Assumption basketball camp), was one of two guys (sup Dave Gerhardt) to make "core" as a 7th grader, shit like that. You see where I went to school there was this idea of "core" in middle school, where you played and travelled exclusively with the middle school varsity and then non core players went up and down from varsity to JV. At least that's how my 33 year old brain remembers it. Anyway fast forward to my 8th grade season. I went to a small school so basically the only people who attended the games were the parents of the players, and maybe your girlfriend if you were lucky. My parents never missed a game and I remember this one time we were getting killed, so my mom left early to go start dinner. Well, magically we went on a run, got back into the game and we were tied in the closing seconds, inbounding the ball at the opponents baseline. I couldn't tell you what the play was, I couldn't tell you if I even ran it correctly, all I remember is finding the ball in my hands as the clock was about to expire and I launched it from the corner three.
First and I think only game winner I've ever had in my life. I don't remember shooting it, but I remember the reaction from everyone in the gym. What a goddamn feeling that was. An even better feeling was being able to give my mom shit for leaving early, something she almost never did, all to make some chicken piccata or something.
The next moment that stands out came in high school. We were on the road playing Concord and they had this kid that had to be no shorter than 6'10. To some of you that may have been the norm, but in NEPSAC it most certainly wasn't. To put that into perspective I played sort of a stretch 4 and I was maybe 5'10-6 feet. This kid was ripping us a new asshole, all of our traditional centers couldn't handle him. Well, our coach decided what the hell and put me on him and if I remember correctly he didn't score again. Anything he tried I handled. Post ups, jumpers, didn't matter. I was like vintage Perk on the block who could defend anyone with no help. I think I finished with 10/10 that game, just a hero performance all around. Nobody could understand how I was able to stop this monster and frankly neither do I. It was pretty much the biggest underdog story in Massachusetts sports that you probably never heard about.
I don't know why those moments have stuck with me all these years, but I remember them as clear as day and probably always will. We all have stories or moments like these, so lemme here em.