Do you remember a couple weeks ago I mentioned a 3-on-3 tournament that I had chickened out of? Well, I did actually end up playing and I’m so glad I did because it was an amazing experience. The environment was completely different from what I was used to and I learned many things. Some of the basics of basketball were brought to my attention.
One example was faking (or in Spanish ‘amagando’). After receiving a pretty bad block, one of my teammates reminded me: “Cinthia, all you need to do is fake. Especially when you are close to the basket.”
Another one that came up, which I’m very familiar with, was fouling.
“If you see a guy is coming at you with speed and is going up for the layup, rip his arms off.” was Oso’s little motivational speech in between plays.
The day was humid and there was hardly any air circulation in the gym El Pomar. We were all sweating like pigs and dumping water on our heads in order to keep cool. Because of the humidity, the floor was very slippery. Also, it probably hadn’t been cleaned in awhile. Apart from that, the court was beautiful (my standards have definitely dropped since moving to Argentina): parquet floor, firmly clamped rings, and metal nets that made a clinking sound when a ball passed through them.
I had a really great time and although we won 1 of 3 games, I left feeling satisfied.
On the following Tuesday, pulling out from a long weekend, the day brought the possibility of having a team meeting with my female ballers. By midday, I had received 4 texts from separate team members and one missed call. I called back to confirm that, yes, I’d be at El Talar later tonight to chat.
And at 9:30 o’clock this team meeting did go down. Twelve of us brought together chairs and sat around a long table in our club’s bar. I was tired and hungry after a long day of work, and noticed my grumpiness when the young waiter apologetically informed me there were no empanadas de queso y cebolla. I told him I wouldn’t be having anything and decided to just focus on the different voices coming from my team.
“What are our goals for next year?”
“Are we going to look for a new trainer?”
“Are we going to sign up for ABA?”
“What do we REALLY want?”
Two hours later, I stepped out of El Talar with Cari. The team meeting had been an open floor of individual feelings, but still nothing concrete had been decided. But for some reason or other, I wasn’t frustrated. However, I was pretty exhausted from the day and before leaving Cari at her bus stop I said: “I think it is time for me to look for another team. I want something different.”
She smiled widely at me and nodded. We waved good-bye.
The whole bus ride home I couldn’t stop thinking about what I wanted from basketball in this moment of my life.