UDPride Discussion Forums    

Go Back   UDPride Discussion Forums > LATEST ARTICLES > UDPride Articles

UDPride Articles Published content from your UDPride staff

» Log in
User Name:


Not a member yet?
Register Now!
» Advertisement
Article Tools Display Modes
Welcome Back
Welcome Back
Published by Swampy Meadows
Welcome Back

BEVERLY HILLS (MI) – Longtime readers of “From the Swamp” will recall that yours truly is a lifelong devoted pickup hoops fanatic. The fact is I don’t run, lift weights, do yoga, CrossFit, Taekwondo, swim laps, hike or any of that other healthy stuff – I hoop. I’ve played from Vermont to California and I would wager that I am one of a select few UD grads who can say that they have hooped at the RecPlex, the PAC, the Fieldhouse, the outdoor courts up on Stuart Hill (that is now a parking lot), the Women’s Gym (back when there was one) and the hangar next to University Hall. The only venue missing on my list: UD Arena.

I’ve hooped with has-beens, never-wases, high school, college and pro players – some pretty good ones like Ryan Perryman, Negele Knight, Elena Delle Donne, Vinnie Johnson and Johnny Davis’s brother. I was proud to have played in the first three editions of David Jablonski's "Dayton Twitter All-Star Pickup Extravaganza." There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of taking a group of guys who have never competed together and turning them into a cohesive unit on the hardwood or asphalt.

For years here in Detroit I was part of a lunchtime run at the Birmingham YMCA that spanned over thirty years. It was a group of 25-30 mostly professional fellas who would show up whenever they could on an irregular basis every day after noon. Guys retired, got hurt, old or in a few cases died and so the game eventually withered and was no more. In my case, in 2009 I took a full-time job in Livonia and could no longer make it. Just within the past 3-4 years some of the younger players resurrected the game, but only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When I retired, I was suddenly available to join them.

Then Covid hit.

Mrs. Swampy bought me a portable hoop at Target which I installed on our driveway and would shoot by myself several days a week. We let our membership at the Y lapse as neither one of us was going to expose ourselves to the virus. As things progressed and the threat relented we reupped our YMCA membership thru BCBS (for free!) and Mrs. Swampy would ride the recumbent bike and I would shoot hoops by myself at 7:00 am several days a week. The only other folks to hit the gym at that early hour were a really skilled middle school kid and his dad who had a whole program of drills that he went through and a guy in his late twenties who alternated between jumping rope and shooting hoops. The Birmingham Y only has one full court with four other hoops, two on each side. On the rare occasions when we were all there, the kid and his dad would do their drills on one end and the twenty-something dude and I would shoot at different baskets at the other. I was under strict orders from the Dr. Younger Swampette that playing pickup hoops with anyone, even if they were fully vaxxed, was out of the question.

In spite of the fact that I was triple vaxxed on New Year’s Eve I started feeling semi-crappy and sure enough I took a rapid test and it was positive. The doctor at the Urgent Care confirmed the diagnosis with a PCR test and gave me a script for Paxlovid, which would help reduce the severity of the symptoms. She also warned me that there was a real possibility of me getting rebound Covid, which is what had transpired with President Biden after he took Paxlovid. Naturally since I voted for him, that's what happened to me, too. After a ten day stint living in the basement I was finally sprung and able to return to my early morning YMCA solo shooting sessions.

During a subsequent conversation with Dr. Younger Swampette I casually asked if it might be possible for me to resume playing pickup ball. She surprised me by saying “Of course–I thought you already were.”

On my next visit to the Y, the twenty-something dude was there, but he was just finishing up his workout when I asked if he wanted to play some one-on-one. He passed, but said next time he’d be happy to.

Today was ‘next time.’

The middle school kid and his dad arrived shortly after I did, so I deferred and let them use the half court I was shooting on, as they had cones and various props that they used as part of their drills. I moved to one of the side hoops and shot for a bit and then Raif, the twenty-something gent said we could play one-on-one if I was up for it.

I’d only been waiting 3 years for someone to say that!

I laid out the rules to Raif: ones and twos (one point for inside the arch; two for outside), game up to eleven, make it/take it, win by two, take everything (even bricks) back to the three point line and no dunking. One rule I didn’t explain to him was that a score of 7-0 was a whitewash. So naturally, in the first game I couldn’t make squat and lost 7-0, which included the ‘trip and fall over your own feet trying to save the ball from going OB’ move that comes from not playing competitively for three years. The next game I ‘got my name in the paper’ by making a solitary short effort. Raif has a good three point shot and is a fan of bank shots like me. He was using his full arsenal, including driving layups and I couldn’t compete early on, but gradually started to warm up from the land of plenty. At one point, I managed to throw in my Larry Bird three-point dagger bank shot for good measure. Like my two favorite teams – the Flyers and Celtics – I thrive by the three and fail to stay alive with the three.

We ended up playing ten games total. Raif won the first five, but I took three out of the last five, including a payback 8-0 whitewash in the finale, hitting a quartet of deep threes in a row. I sat down on the bench afterwards semi-drenched with the satisfactory sweat that only comes from a really good workout.

As I walked out of the gym and headed to the parking lot, the middle-school kid who was taking a break from his drills looked over and gave me a nod and a sly grin that said “I saw what you did.”

It was good to be back.

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
Article Tools

Article Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.1

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:57 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Advertisement System V2.6 By   Branden

Article powered by GARS 2.1.8m ©2005-2006

Copyright 1996-2012 UDPride.com. All Rights Reserved.