An English II assignment gone wrong.

(Okay, not really - I just thought that sounded cool.)

Little Girl Camper and the Big Bad Box Shots

I hadn't always been able to play basketball.

I really hadn't even wanted to participate in the sport. Playing the game was some what expected of me because of my height, at the uncoordinated age of ten I stood a head taller than others, and "my blood". It was something that happened to one when one's great-grandfather had been a coach for both Rutgers and U-Conn's basketball team and lead both teams to win a championship.

When my gym teacher passed out the forms for the annual Ada Lady Cougar's Basketball Camp my mom signed me up faster than an Olympic runner could finish the 100 meter dash. This was the first summer camp I had ever attended – with the exception of Girl Scout's. I was in between being excited about the camp and annoyed. It was, after all, taking up my first week of summer vacation. The excitement wasn't so much from being able to go to my first basketball camp but more from the idea that Caton Hill, a basketball player from the OU woman's team, would be there.

Walking into the Ada Cougar Activity Center butterflies came alive in my stomach. What if I was late? What if I didn't know anyone? The illogical questions flew through my mind a mile per minute. I knew that I was on time – it was 8:50 A.M. and the camp started at 9:00 A.M. – and I knew without a doubt that two of my friends would be coming to the camp too. Still the nerves were messing with my mind.

Biting my lip anxiously I snatched a ball off the rack and fallowed suit of the other girls shooting at different baskets. Over the ten minutes more girls trickled into the gym. Until finally the coaches blew their whistles and camp started.

Time flew as we were instructed on how to do drill after drill. Soon we were divided, seventh graders and up on one side and everyone below on the other, on either side of the half court line.

There were a series of different stations set up for us to go to in a thirty second time period. The whistle was blown and the stampede of girls ran to get behind a high school player who stood at each goal. I had the luck to get to the station that Caton Hill was seated at. "Hot Shot" was the name it had been dubbed with.

Lucky me, I was the first up. Stepping up to the box I realized that I wasn't breathing – really who wanted to mess up in front of Caton Hill? I was beyond nervous, but as soon as the buzzer was sounded I went into a zone and started shooting.

Unfortunatly the shooting wasn't so "Hot".

"Try aiming for the top of the box's corner," The words were spoken so casually yet they completely stopped me in my tracks. Frozen like a dear in headlights I turned my head so that I could see who was talking to me. The speaker was Caton Hill.

"Wha-what?" My voice came out so strangled, I wasn't sure it had me who had spoken.

A small smile lit her face, "The top of the box… try aiming for it, 'kay?"

I'd heard the words time and time again from my mother and yet they had a new light to them now.

Caton Hill was speaking the words. Not my mom, not my dad. A professional basketball player, a woman who played for Oklahoma University, was telling me how to shoot a box shot. My heart challenged that of a mouse's it was beating so fast. There was no way that I was going to miss the shot right after Caton Hill had told me how to prefect it.

The pressure on my chest magically lifted as the ball swirled around the rim and fell into the net. Setting up for my next shot I snuck a glance at Caton Hill. She wasn't looking at me anymore and I knew to her the advice she had given me was common knowledge, something that she probably wouldn't remember saying to a little girl at a basketball camp. To me, her words weren't casual advice but something that still comes to mind as I shoot box shots.


Yeah, short I know. My teacher said that that was the way she wanted it, so thats the way it is... It also might not sound right because I broke up the paragraphs so that there wouldn't be big groups of words to frighten y'all readers.

- Andie