My shining moment had arrived. It was Monday, February 15th. The day that I had been invited to be a guest player on the opposing team for the Harlem Globetrotters, the Washington Generals. This was going to be my moment of glory. This was going to be a day I would never forget. I had practiced, two days prior to the game, to ensure I was warmed up. I was scheduled to play a couple of minutes in the second quarter. I wished that I could play the whole game, but that was okay ... I was going to do the best that I could in the short time that I had. My goal? Make at least one shot. One point was all that I cared about. I was taking on the team that had never lost a game, to play on the team that always looses. Needless to say, I had my work cut out for me.
When the moment came to step onto the court, I was overwhelmed. Basketball is one of my passions. It is one of the things I look most forward to in my week. I love it. The competition, the comaradarie, the smack talking. It is the best! Being such a huge fan of the game, one of my fantasies has always been to do a warm up with a real team, on a real court. That is exactly what I got to do. It was absolutely awesome. I even made a couple of the warm up shots. Let's forget the fact that I stood out like a sore thumb. I looked shockingly pale in my green uniform and I felt unbelievably short. But, it all added to the experience. I was in heaven. My dream had come true. It is a good thing too..... because the imminent whooping was about to begin :)
At the start of the second quarter, the announcer called me into the game. He said my name and announced that I was the host of Curiosity Quest. Was I nervous at that moment you may ask? Well, a little. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I had watched the Washington Generals, get embarrassed, be made fun of, even get their shorts pulled down. I was in for it. I went up against Big Easy Lofton. All 6 feet 9 inches of him. How did it go? Well .... right out of the gate I air-balled it. No really I did! With the entire audience watching. Did Big Easy let my mistake go? Oh, nooo!!! He wasn't about to let that one slide without making fun of me. He and his teammate, Flight Time, did a reenactment of my air-ball that had the whole audience laughing at my expense. At the other end of the court, Big Easy, easily boxed me out and made a shot over my head. How could I possibly block a guy who is over a foot taller than me? Next, I got a chance for redemption. My turn to make an outside shot again.... and this time? Miss! Again! Was the pressure getting to me? I am worried that it is. Following that, I had an opportunity for a lay-up. If I missed this, I knew, the ridicule might never end. I lifted off the ground, with a silent prayer. Yeesss! In the basket! My hopes for one point has been realized. With my confidence lifted slightly, I stepped up to the free throw line, after a foul. Slightly nervous, and certainly hoping I don't miss, I throw it up and ..... another point! Yeeessss, again! I made a free throw! But, Big Easy wasn't about to let me off the hook easily. For my second free throw, he pulled my shorts up to my waist and held them there while I attempted the second shot. Unfortunately, it circled the rim, but bounced out. With that, my adventure on a professional basketball court came to an end. I enjoyed the rest of the show, quite happily, from the bench.
So did I mind the fact that my every move was under scrutiny and embarrassment? Not even close! I absolutely loved every second! It's not every day that you get the opportunity to be shown up by a Harlem Globetrotter. It was an extraordinary day that I wouldn't have changed a second of.
I have the greatest job in the world :)
Thank you to all the fans at the show that stopped by to say "hi" and let me know how much they enjoyed Curiosity Quest. It means the world to hear that you all, out there in the PBS viewing world, enjoy what we do. Stay tuned for our next adventure :)
In the Meantime,