On Saturday, I went to see both the women’s and men’s games at my old university. It was strange walking through the upper gym where I used to play my own basketball for three years. I started playing half way through my second year, inspired by a basketball playing crush. One day I just decided to pick up a basketball and learn to shoot. And here I am.
I shyly stated to the two girls selling tickets in the entrance of the gym that I was alumni.
“Were you part of any team?” one asked and I heard myself respond, “I wish.”
I surprised myself with my answer because it was almost sarcastic as if to say “Hah! What a joke! How would I be on any team?”
I found myself a seat in the bleachers and watched the last quarter of the women’s game against the York Lions. I enjoyed seeing the girls play ferociously for the 42 – 34 win, which is apparently their sixth straight win. Woo!
The guy’s team started their warm up routine right after the girl’s game. I recognized most of the players on the team and smiled to see some rookie players grown in size and confidence. I kept my eyes open for familiar faces off the court as well. A lot of retired players wandered the court, getting settled to watch the game. I could guess that they, like me, missed touching this particular court floor.
After each team’s introduction, we stood up for the almost three minutes of what is the Canadian national anthem and I could feel a nostalgic feeling in my solar plexus.
York got the first tip off and the game started up.
One of the biggest differences I notice between men’s and women’s basketball is the speed and this is why (I believe) the men’s game represents the highest form of the sport at this moment. Also, because men have been training and playing basketball longer than women, they are more advanced. In the future, this will change.
I noticed that many of the masculine players like to rush the ball, especially by the end of the game when signs of exhaustion begin to show. They have a bad habit of pushing these crazy out of control runs that are not always effective. I kept hearing comments from one sightly monotone voice behind me: “Use the glass!” It was usually followed by a teeth clicking sound of frustration.
Unfortunately, the men’s team ended up with a 73 – 74 loss to york. I took one last look at the bright gym before heading out in the cold winter night.