The best thing I can say about D.J.’s first basketball game is that it was entertaining. There were some spills and minor injuries, but nobody was seriously hurt, either physically or emotionally. Everybody played, and both teams scored baskets. (The other team scored quite a few more, but who’s counting?)
D.J.’s team was either executing the most complex set of plays that any coach ever designed, or they had no idea what they were supposed to be doing. They bunched together on offense, trying to get the ball from each other. They lost track of where they were supposed to be on defense. Every so often, one of them would actually put his (or her) hands up, as instructed. Most of the time they eventually got going in the right direction, but it doesn’t come naturally yet. What comes naturally is going where the ball is. At least that’s a start.
I think most of the six-year-olds on our team had probably never even seen a game before. The best news is that by the end of the game, they were starting to get the idea. Maybe by next week they’ll have it all together. The rules at this level are designed to encourage them to learn as they go. D.J. didn’t get called for traveling until it became obvious he wasn’t going to give up the ball no matter what. If he got stopped, he just started going again. He’ll learn. At least he was playing more or less with his team most of the time, and not by himself.
He looks good in uniform; I have to give him that. And he’s enthusiastic, which makes up for a lot. He played the first and third quarters, and cheered his teammates from the bench the rest of the time. After Wednesday’s practice he was frustrated and angry, but he seemed to be going more with the flow during the game today.