Backyard Basketball Dreams

When I was growing up, we had a basketball goal in our backyard and this would be the closest I ever came to participating in sports, our prompt for today. My friends and I used to take turns attempting to make baskets, but never really played the actual game itself. Instead we played a game called “Around The World” where we would each attempt to make baskets from specific locations around the court. The court in this case was our backyard patio. There was never a rousing game of one-on-one that I can remember, at least, one played with me involved. I was always thrilled by the amazing skills of the Harlem Globetrotters back then and wished I could actually do all of the things they did. After spending hours one afternoon attempting to balance a spinning basketball on the tip of my finger, I soon realized that we are each happily meant for different paths in life. Though I could often make a basket, it only ever felt like dumb luck and not something that came with the confidence of a learned skill. This complete lack of true talent, however, never stopped me from enjoying each and every bungling moment.

Another version of the game that we played was HORSE. In this game, your opponent tried a basket from a certain location and, if they made it in, you had to perform the same feat. If you failed, you were given a letter until the first person to spell HORSE was ejected from the game. This was great fun, but due to my short attention span I usually suggested we play PIG instead and just zoom along to find our winner. More often than not, we’d start our game to find an only slightly inflated basketball that sort of flopped more than dribbled. One of us might retrieve the pump to inflate it, but since our game didn’t require dribbling, we were often too lazy to bother. We’d just keep flinging that floppy ball into the air hoping it made it into the net, rather enjoying the satisfying splat that came at the end. And several Harlem Globetrotters, wherever they were trotting at that moment in the world, mysteriously cringed, and could only wonder why.

These days, it’s me who cringes when someone’s ask me if I’m “into sports” as though that’s enough of a description. Do they mean every sport ever invented? Or when someone asks, “what sports are you into” which is equally disturbing in its assumption that I must pick at least one. In truth, I don’t watch or follow a sport of any kind. It’s quite a commitment to follow sports and really more like a hobby and I already have plenty of those. But when there’s a basketball game on in some restaurant or bar, I do often find myself sneaking glances. Deep within me, that childhood urge to spin that ball like a pro and fly through the air toward that basket must still be there. And yet, I can’t name a single team of nearly any sport. Having been in advertising, I did often attend Super Bowl parties, but we were only there to watch the commercials and spent the actual game moments drinking on the terrace. So these days, I just think back fondly to those times I engaged in a bit of sport. Even if nothing I imagined came true, there’s still magic to be found in those backyard basketball dreams.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Quinacridone Red, Benzimida Orange, Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
 Day 25 - Backyard Basketball - #doodlewashApril2018 - Doodlewash

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45 thoughts on “Backyard Basketball Dreams

  1. I love the perspective of your basketball hoop! I’m worse than you when it comes to sports. I’m rather proud of the fact that I know what sport the Harlem Globetrotters play, and they are about the ONLY team that I can say that about. I refuse to let anyone tell me who plays what – it’s against my principles, lol.

  2. This was an awesome painting yay! I feel like I threw the ball! I’m only 5’3 ha ha ha. Not a sporty, I’m an arty like you ha ha ha !!

  3. When I was a kid the Harlem Globetrotters came to our small town! My parents took us to the game. They also took us to a donkey basketball game. Real donkeys are involved. My kind of sports! I joined the track team as a shotputter. Turns out that shotputters not only throw a heavy metal ball, they have to run during practice. Is it any wonder I dropped out after only one week?😂😂 Great painting!

  4. I can’t comment on a female perspective, but I’m with you Charlie in terms of sport, and often feel it excludes me from much of male cameraderie. Over here it’s footbal (soccer) or rugby, and I’m interested in neither. I can see no point in living off the glory of the exploits of others which is what it seems to me is what fans do, but I guess it’s a bonding thing.

    No, I’m happy to bond with those, like us here, that have a shared interest. Carrying around the rules of watercolour in my head is enough without cluttering up the few remaining grey cells with sports sats. LOL

    1. So true! 😃💕 It’s far better to bond with those you have actual commonalities with then trying to fit in. I love our little community… and honestly? Anyone who’s ever tried unruly watercolor must certainly know it takes a bit of sport! 😉

  5. I feel the same way about sports, especially professional sports. The playing part is fine but athletes making kazillions of bucks knocking a ball one way or another are not my idea of heroes.

    At a new job (a long time ago, but new then) my colleague told me to enter another teacher’s room and yell enthusiastically for the Giants. Teacher gave me a withering look. It was only later that I noticed he had Viking memorabilia all over the room, and even later that I figured out the Giants are the enemies of the Vikings. My colleague found the whole experience a big hoot. As far as I’m concerned, the set up by colleague and the reaction from teacher were both just short of ridiculous. On second thought, they were totally ridiculous.

    What does impress me is the challenging view of the ball and the hoop you chose and how well you painted it. I think you scored a unicorn!

  6. Great basketball, net and backdrop. I see quite a few of these around the neighborhood but never see the kids using them. I have, however, seen the sportsfan dad’s take a shot now and then. My husband was a big sports fan so I did a lot of listening while working on my crafts nearby.

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