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schencka
NBA all-star game remarks

The best part was Shaq dancing to beat of Nas' song "Hero." The experience of watching the game was funny at times -- with Yao Ming struggling with the game speed, some of the guys shooting bricks, and sloppy play. Funny how at that level, there are dunks and there are DUNKS.

The game reminds me of three events: 1) I was an all-star at the Hawkeye Basketball Camp in Iowa City; 2) I was an all-star in the Shelby County CYO league; 3) I dunked nn a pickup game (aided by a rim bent down a couple inches).

In Iowa City, I was about thirteen years old and somehow managed to be put in the lesser-aged league; basically I was a year older than most boys in that section. To earn the spot, I moved really well, rebounded, drove to the lane and put up off-handed layups, and even shot a few threes. The all-star game was dominated by guards doing ballhandling, and I scored only on one layup with my left hand. The experience was good, especially hanging out on the campus of the University of Iowa.

In the all-star game for the CYO league, the game was pretty fun. My first shot was an air-ball three pointer. I remember getting fouled on a three-pointer and making all three free throws, alone in the lane because I was fouled as time expired on the half. I hit a fallaway jumper and made an ugly bank hook shot. It would have been hard to one-up the previous year's game, where Ryan Fagan hit a buzzer-beating three to win the game. He smiled embarrassingly after it went in.

I'm 6'1'' and have been able to dunk a full-size ball for a few years -- I started trying after my legs got strong as a graduate student from age 23-25. I have to "cup" the ball in my right hand and arm to swing my arm to get enough momentum to get high enough to throw the ball down. Sometimes guys tell me to try another method; perhaps I should get extra training. My hands are average-sized.

In a pickup game last summer, I got a steal and a free path to the rim. I set the ball against my hip and put it snug between my right hand and forearm, took some long steps, jumped off my left leg, and dunked. I barely touched the rim, but I know it was a real dunk because the ball came down hard.

This made me think, "If I can dunk, how can there be anybody in the NBA that can't? And if you're 6'5'' or more, how do you not dunk every time?"

Well, hope my leaping down aren't totally over. I'm seeing an orthopaedist tomorrow to see about some possibly loose cartilage in my left knee which has been causing some swelling if I exercise on it.

Tally-ho.
No profanes - sacred
 
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