|If you played high school basketball (most of us weren’t fortunate enough to play college), then you understand the squeaks and sounds of the roundball in the month of November.|
There is nothing like a November night inside of a dank gym to warm your heart. It’s cold outside, but inside, it’s as hot as heck, sweat soaking your shirt, heart pumping fast, and the adrenaline on full throttle.
It’s a practice. No score is being kept. Drill after drill is drilled into you. Box out drills, outlet pass drills, diving drills, shooting drills, sprints, lifts, and a little pep talk from your coach make up those nights in hopes that one day something like what took place on Thursday night might happen.
It matters not where you come from, if you’re a baller, understand this, what Gene Kim did on Thursday night in an opening round statement was anything but luck.
Tony Hu drilled a last second shot on Sunday to lift the Cruisers past Gen X 61-59, but GK did his big daddy one, two, three, better with a buzzer-beating 21-foot triple from the top of the key to deal the favored Spartans a crushing 59-56 blow that rendered everyone speechless, Team Elite a Cinderfella, and the Spartans suddenly on the verge of elimination.
GK: The G is for glee and the K is for King (if only just for one night.)
Some call any kind of buzzer beater luck, but when you consider what Hu and now what Kim has done this week, went through as youngsters during those Novembers after Novembers in dank, dark gyms up until their reached the big time (the DL is big time??), luck has nothing to do with it.
Every drill, every drop of sweat, every step, everyday, you are a sum of your parts and given that Eugene “Call Myong Moon” Kim surely practiced 3 after 3 after 3 after 3 every November (and not to mention other months) of his life, his fourth and final bomb of last night, while was loud, proud, and clear, was just another swish in his life of a trillion shots.
Oh, the Elite celebrated like they’d won the NCAA’s. They deserved to after surviving a huge comeback by the Spartans who were down as many as 17 in the 2nd half, but in GK’s mind, he should have made that shot.
Like Mario Chalmers last year, this one will be engrained in memories for some time to come, but please please don’t be surprised if it happens again.
Speaking of Chalmers and the NCAA, there is March Madness which everyone thinks of as the mecca of the basketball season, but when you think about the basketball we grew up playing, it was always a fall sport and it started in November.
Each and every night in those Novembers, during grueling practices, boys turned into men.
Thursday night, Gene Kim, with utter joy in his heart and glee on his face, turned back the clock and became a boy amongst men.