Thursday, April 12, 2007

koalabear and basketball

I guess the first article on this blog should be about me and my passion for basketball. I was born in Hong Kong and grew up watching soccer instead of basketball, since there was rarely NBA games being telecast in Hong Kong in the late 80s, early 90s. The first time I play with a basketball would be in grade 3, just some simple dribbling in one gym class and that is it until grade 5. In grade 5 we have more gym classes that we play basketball but the teacher don't teach us anything, he just separate us into teams and let us play, I never learn to shoot, not even lay ups but I was good enounh on everything else that I was picked into the 10 players team to represent our class in the grade 5 basketball league. Our team ended with a fourth place finish out of 8 teams. In grade 6, my family immagrated to Canada and we play basketball on occasional gym class and soccer is still my goto sport.

The Changing Point
Another year past, I start watching basketball on tv in grade 7, this is 1995-96 NBA season, Michael Jordan first full year after coming back from baseball, the Chicago Bulls won 72 games and lose only 10 that year. I began to be a Jordan fan like everyone who don't know anything about basketball would. Change the subject a little bit, one of my two older brothers is almost 5 years older than me and he was a good basketball player in his high school when we were in Hong Kong and basketball had became his number 1 sport ahead of soccer already. That year, he convince our parents to get us a basketbll net to put on the drive-way. Over the snowed in winter months, I had slowly became a Scottie Pippen fan on the style that he plays, during easter break, we build the basketball net and my brother taught me and my other brother how to play basketball. I just fall in love with basketball, I would be playing whenever I have time and the weather permits, finally know how to shoot and start copying moves of Scottie Pippen. In grade 8, I was already the best player on my elementary school team, mainly because our shool won the city title the year before with a full roster of grade 8 players and all of them went to high shools. Our team stinks that year, in 8 games, our teams scores ranging from 19 to 44 points and I score a minimu of 11 points each game including 13 on the game that we had 19.

Bad luck derailed my basketball development
In high school, I went to the junior team tryout and on sign up day, he asked you to write down the name of your elementary school, my elementary school didn't had a good year and I didn't made the first cut. The year after, I try out for the junior team again, this time I was cut in the final round and the explanation I got from the coach was "You had imporved a lot from last year, but ou are not as good as (the two starters' name in shooting guard and small forward, who were in the team the year before), and I want some grade 9's in the team for experience to prepare them for next year". I was so mad, I was better than half of the team but I got cut. I hate that coach. In grade 11, I went to the try out for the senior team, and the team was fixed, basically, if you never play for the junior team, you are out. And I gave up in grade 12, only to know that, our junior coach was a teacher in our school got transfer to a different high school and the new teacher that took over, see the interest we had in our school toward basketball decided that we had enough resource to have 2 junior teams, if we had that earlier, I could had join the second team and be the main man there and show him up (the coach that cut me from the junior team).

Recent years
I played in Campus Recreation basketball league all 5 years that I was there and play regularly every week as well. My offensive game is a bit raw since I never get to improve in the team environment through my high school years, but it wasn't bad and I had always been a great defensive player. If you don't count the university team, just everyone else in the university, I would be rank in about 65th percentile in offence but the 95th percentile in defence. 95th percentile in basketball IQ as well. I got good b-ball IQ mainly because I watch a lot of games on tv and I like basketball players like Scottie Pippen and John Stockton, who are two of the smartest basketball players ever offensively and defensively instead of a top scorer.

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