The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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I interviewed one of my very close friends, Christina Thompson about a very important game during her basketball career at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. Although she is more than happy to be done with those grueling days, it is clear that she holds the excitement of nights like these dear to her.

The excitement from the gym rocks the locker room like an obnoxious bass. My nerves are rising from my laced Nikes and can sense the flush on my skin. Stealing a glance at the coaching staff I notice they are also looking at me above their clipboards. I’ve been favored over the last few weeks and it was announced that I will be starting this game. Geeez, I’m not sure how I feel about that. Of all games. This is my opportunity to shine; my coming out party, and it is against the number one team in the nation. The team that boasts of the best shooting guard in years, a household name: Maya Moore. Lovely.

Texts from loved ones have been pouring in all morning. All of my close friends know how important this game is, most of which are in the stands right now. A message from Royal, a close friend and fellow ball player replays in my head, “Just remember they lace up their shoes the same way that you do. They put on their jerseys the same way as you. Go out there and do your best.” I find some solace picturing Maya, and all of her glory, doing the same pre-game ritual as me. Grinning I think of her being nervous too, ehh probably not.

“Let’s go girls! It’s game time.” Here we go. I say a quick prayer for some much needed strength while the doors of the gym open. The lights are blinding and the sounds of the crowd is unnerving. It takes me a minute to orient myself. There are triple the amount of people in attendance. Everyone wants a chance to see famed coach Geno Auriemma and the team’s superstars outside of the ESPN screen. They may not be here for me, but their presence makes me feel pumped. The intensity builds as the warm-up clock runs low.

“Pthhhht” the game whistle blows beckoning me to my spot at the middle of the gym floor. The ball flies straight up in the air from the referee’s release and I feel my hand connect. I push it in the direction of our point guard, Chrissy. Jump ball won. Chrissy slows the ball while we all get to our marks. First play is executed perfectly. Seamless pass and one swift move and I am past their Big Girl and at the basket. The first two points are mine. “Let’s switch up! 43’s my man.” I hear Maya Moore yell to her postman. Maya Moore is going to be defending me. Maya Moore. Let’s go! 

The Big Game

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College Basketball Days
Stockton, CA

I interviewed one of my very close friends, Christina Thompson about a very important game during her basketball career at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. Although she is more than happy to be done with those grueling days, it is clear that she holds the excitement of nights like these dear to her.

Decade: 2010s
Rating:
Recorded by Natasha Rojas on March 20, 2014
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