My Last Hoop

They all thought, at least those who have been around awhile, that I was going for the baby, midrange, left-handed hook. The baby hook is always closer – almost a layup (pretty impressive). I always heard ooh’s and ah’s from the boys sitting in the bleachers awaiting their turn, talking sweet, talking junk, momentarily away from the world. They hadn’t seen it in awhile – especially when it went in. So ugly when it doesn’t, but so nice when it does.

But I wasn’t. Well, actually I was but the dude who was guarding me got a little out in front of me. I saw an ugly turn over, a train crash, a dumpster fire, or some combination of all three. I twisted back to the right and pushed off one foot, putting up a right handle and in it went, not perfectly but accurately.

Those were the last competitive points I would make. I racked up points while playing for three years in high school, at Rose playground, and about another 6,251 at the Jewish Community Center. And then there were the points I scored during my final game and that final shot.

My left knee ended pretty messed up, only getting worse as the years wore on. ‘I’ll just have surgery,’ I thought. But dementia and anesthesia do not mix. It can make dementia worse permanently and occasionally, worsen it to the extreme. Clang.

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