Thursday, June 18, 2009


So I just completed my first week at my summer job. I mean, since my mother and I are nowhere near rich, period, let alone well-off enough for me to bum around at home all summer without generating any income, work is pretty much a necessity. I'm working a basketball camp, and my team this week went 1-9 in games... pretty crummy. Factor in how competitive I get when basketballs are involved and you could draw a convincing argument for me moping around in a state of morbid depression.


My team lost nearly every game, and really wasn't very good; fortunately, the kids are between 8-10 and winning games at that age is really a function of having one or two advanced kids and finishing fastbreak lay-ups. Besides, winning isn't everything. Especially when you have a group of kids as adorable as mine. It was actually agreed upon, unanimously, by every worker that saw my team that my team was hands down the most adorable. Somehow, all of the shortest kids in the league wound up on my team, and at that age small=cute. It helps when the kids come to camp making fashion statements. Lil' D* is about 4-foot-nothing—seriously, he's 4-6 inches shorter than the average kid we played—and came to camp everyday in his over-sized camp shirt (definitely was longer than his shorts) and a black mouthpiece which was always visible either because it was hanging halfway out of his mouth or because he was grinning. J.S. came to camp the first day with a customized pinstripe basketball uniform, so legitimate it even had his last name on the back. He also wore black knee-high socks everyday :). Lil' Enrique (this nickname makes me laugh) came in a his equally grandiose camp shirt with a Nike swoosh headband turned so that the insignia is dead center on the back of his head, just like an NBA player's band. We had 2 more phenomenally short kids, R. Manbag and Kombat Boy. What was great about having all of these extraordinarily small/young kids was the effort they gave. They were team-oriented enough to know the value of setting screens at just 8 years old even though doing so put them in relative peril of being trampled, particularly when you consider their size relative to that of the kids whose motion they were trying to impede. They also dived on the floor for loose balls—no idea where they learned it, but they did and it was splendid!

Even when you control for size, my team was still arguably the most adorable. Every day, we'd shoot free throws after our games. Of course, they aren't great shooters at their ages and some are invariably better than others. One girl on my team, however, was a bit more deficient than others in regards to shooting—her first shot on the first day wentt about 8 feet before hitting the ground. A free throw is a shot from 15 feet away. Needless to say, some of the other kids started to chuckle, but ridicule ain't really too conducive to learning so I shut that down quickly. By Tuesday, the whole team was complementing how much closer see was than she had been the previous day, and when she hit the rim on Wednesday everyone held their breath. Thursday was the last day, and she made one! The whole team started jumping and celebrating. It was heart-warming. Between you and me though, I think the free throw line was a little close on Thursday; I had nothing to do with it nor did I have any way of measuring it, so heaven forbid I taint that moment.

I haven't, and will not, mention everyone that was on my team, though I really did enjoy having all of them. Despite the fact that it is the best summer job ever, it wasn't all roses. I mean, seriously, we freakin went 1-9. Worst record ever. And we should have gone 2-8 but we lost our last game. Why? Because my team also had a diva. She was hilarious and pretty good. She bad-mouthed the refs, ignored 60% of what I said and shot the ball every time she touched it (bear in mind, she's 10). She was fun too, but really, her shooting for 8 straight possessions without passing the ball in the last 3 minutes and not making a single shot (and no, you can't sub specific players in and out for performance during camp) negated a glorious 5-to-nothing run the team had orchestrated to tie. Lil Miz Thang wasn't even ghetto or anything, just hard-headed. But whatever. Focus on the good.

I definitely interacted with kids that weren't on my team and learned great things from them too. Particularly the other team I coached for free throws with Dy and Mateo.

Also, I've got data to support my claims on the relative adorability of my kids. 1-9. Crappy record. Despite this, 3 of the 7 individual weekly awards went home with kids from my team. Why would all the other coaches vote for my kids despite the fact that we never won if not for the cuteness?

I'm saying, BEST JOB EVER!!!!

*Names have been changed and nicknames have been created to maintain the anonymity of my camp kids.


  1. Dude, this sopunds awesome. Sounds like you're really making an impact on young lives, which is what we need these days. Let anyone say that black men aint stepping up as role models; ill use you as the perfect reference.

    And the little ball bog- she sounds like a straight up G!

    yesssss, my laptop was finally hooked up to internet and i can now leave comments, which means you;ll see a lot more of me on here lol

  2. Most of the kids at my camp are white though Kev, so I'm not sure I get too much role model cred, ya know.