saturday july 11

today i was playing basketball at st. cecilia elementary school with a friend when we were joined by a shy eight-year-old boy named ace. ace didn’t have much to say, but he loved jacking up jump shots, and took particularly delight in the moments when both of our basketballs bounced toward him and he tried to keep them away from us by running away dribbling one with each hand.

after we'd been shooting around for a while, a pair of college-age guys came by and suggested playing a game of two-on-two. not wanting to just tell ace to get lost, my friend and i suggested he play on our team. of course, this made the numbers uneven, giving us a 3-on-2 advantage, but ace had no interest in playing defense or dribbling or passing -- he was just here to shoot, and based on his middling performance during our shootaround, we figured his one-dimensional game wouldn’t give us a real leg up. so you can imagine our surprise then when he started hitting nearly every shot he took, scoring all but one of our team’s baskets en route to an easy victory. "get this kid outta here," our opponents complained as ace headed home after the game with a huge grin on his face.

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