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by Daisan
Rated: E · Short Story · Sports · #2293983
The life of a new coach and one of his players changes when he learns the player is a star
         The loudness in the gymnasium was little more than a low rumble in Von's ears as he lowered his head, pivoted to his holding the ball away from his body out of the defender's reach. He caught his opponent's eyes, sizing him up in that split second then stood straight up and took a hard, quick jab step to his left; the defender mirrored his movement but over played it creating distance between them and Von stole a look at the clock as the time went from six seconds to five. He began his dribble with his right hand moving in that direction, not allowing the defender an opportunity to close on him...one one-thousand - four seconds. The defender, who had subbed in after the time out, had fresh legs and was quick sought to trap him against the sideline as another defender rushed up from the bottom of the key. Von saw him coming and was ready to make the pass to Terry who was planted on the bottom right block, his hand up calling for the ball momentarily unguarded the entire gym seeing him open, then seeing the rotating defender flash in front of him cutting off the passing lane…three one thousand…two seconds. He planted hard with his right foot, cutting back to his left, crossing his dribble over beneath his left leg just out of reach of the quick defender’s reaching right hand, saw Mr. Quick stumble, his fresh legs trying to stop and change direction all at once, felt his fingertips graze his knee while the other defender skidded to a stop to avoid a collision...four one thousand – one second left or maybe less, the near trap and steal making him unsure of his internal clock. There wasn't enough time now. No time to lob to Big Terry like coach had drawn up, no time to drive to the basket and dump it off to Rip or Derrick when the defense collapsed on him, no time kick it out to Jay for the wide open jumper, no time to lay it up, no time to try to draw contact and get to the free throw line, no time to do anything but take two more quick dribbles, gather his legs beneath him and launch a high arching jumper toward the basket…five one thousand…zero. He saw the arm of the referee nearest him shoot straight up to signal the attempt had been in time the ball just a few inches away from his fingertips when the horn went off, saw the other players turn, saw the fans lean in their seats and on their feet, saw the cheerleaders on the base line jumping and yelling, and saw the ball rotating as it began its downward arc toward the basket.
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