Let me tell you a story about my life and Basketball:
Ever since I was about 11 and my brother got a backboard, hoop, and net for Christmas, I knew Basketball was something that cool people should like. I can't say that it was really important, but it was definitely COOL! The backboard was mounted and my cool older brother and his cool older friends would shoot around in our half court sized back yard driveway. By brother was actually a soccer player, so I didn't go to many basketball games. I only remember going to one in High School, but then I really only remember going to one soccer game, as well. But I'm jumping ahead.
In Jr. High I fell in with what I felt like was the cool crowd. "Fell in" is a strong description. I think more likely, I tagged along on the fringes and they tolerated my presence because they were taught in Baptist Summer Bible Camp to be nice to people who are different. So at lunch I would sit in the last seat at the end of the cool table and try to look interested as the girls talked about makeup and the boys talked about . . . what ever cool Jr. High boys talk about. At Midway Jr. High (a small school in Texas) in March, all of the "Channel One" TVs in the lunch room were turned on so we (and, I suspect, the teachers on lunch duty) could watch the college basketball games.
I didn't know anything about basketball teams. I didn't know anything about basketball, except that the ball is orange and you shoot it at the box and hope it falls into the hoop. I tried to ask questions and learn something, but let's face it, Jr. High boys speak in a way that Jr. High girls do not understand. Or at least these boys didn't, and there weren't any translators around . . . So I would go home every night to my non-sports family feeling uncool because I didn't know anything about basketball and there was no one I felt safe asking. I'd steal my brother's ball and for hours I would stand in the driveway alone shooting free throws under our big yellow flood light, hoping that shooting baskets would teach me something about the game and make me fluent in basketball and therefore cool.
No Luck. All my cool friends went on, as many Jr. Boys in TX do, to become members of the High School Basketball team, even the short ones. And, Like I said, I went to one High School Basketball game. I "won" a basket ball from a seminary fair in High School, but that still didn't make me feel any cooler. It just meant that I didn't have to steal my brother's to shoot the bug infested evenings away. After High School I played a few down a dirty street games with the single adults in my stake. There was one boy in particular who liked to play two on two with me because 1) I could shoot half decent shots from the free throw line, 2) if he was playing against me, I fowled a lot, and 3) he thought it was really funny to hear me try to talk trash, which I did. . . still do.
And now, I live in Idaho Falls where, for some reason, basketball is a big thing, and I still feel uncool because I know NOTHING about basketball. But I still like to hear about it and sometimes watch it, and I LOVE to shoot free throws. So I got this book:
Basketball (Or Something Like it) by Nora Raleigh Baskin
I know it won't teach me anything about basketball either, but, I'm already half way through and I can't put it down. So, I guess something about basketball still makes me feel cool.