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Triumph (standard:drama, 876 words)
Author: LawlessAdded: Mar 17 2001Views/Reads: 2323/4Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A story of two brothers, basketball, and a happy ending even after a tragic loss.
 



Triumph 

For over a year before we headed off to college, my brother and I lived
with our Grandmother following the death of our parents.  Life was 
never the same for us after our parents' death. Still our basketball 
games often were wins, but they didn't seem to have any value without 
our Mother and Father standing in the bleachers cheering us on.  Our 
senior year we led our team to the state championship for the second 
straight season.  This time with a 16-3 record in the regular season we 
earned the number-one seed in the playoffs.  It was a boost to have the 
press following us, and it was a grand celebration to be winning games, 
but we had no deep inspiration without our most spirited fans. If you 
had attended a Wildcat game our sophomore year and then once again our 
senior year - besides the quality of play that grew as we grew - you 
would have thought you were watching two different teams.  Our parents 
gave their all in the stands, they created a 'following' with each 
crowd, during each and every game.  They loved to watch their two sons 
play basketball.  It was their passion, second only to their love for 
each other. 

We won the state championship our senior year, but the games always
seemed quieter without our parents in the crowd.  With Drew averaging 
over 34 points a game and me pulling down nearly 21 rebounds a game we 
had virtually an unstoppable front court.  This year it would be a game 
of revenge.  Following last year's loss, this year we would face the 
same team again in the state finals.  Southwestern High had three 
all-Americans on their team, and held the state's longest 
winning-streak ever.  They had not lost a contest in over 3 and a half 
seasons.  Drew and I had been on fire all year, helping to earn our 
Wildcats a spot in the playoffs.  Much of our success, of course, was 
due to Drew's ability to score at will, and my strong defense.  When we 
arrived at the finals Southwestern put their stars up against us, and 
it was the first time that we had ever faced players that gave us some 
competition.  We lost by three points when the final buzzer sounded, 
and Drew sat on the bench fouled-out and cursing like a wino outside a 
liquor store on a Sunday. 

We met them again our senior year.  We were each a year older, and a
year stronger.  They had lost one of their all-stars to graduation, but 
they had kept two.  My brother and I had been selected as all-Americans 
as well that year.  The matchup had been created by the state borders, 
but to everyone in attendance it seemed to have been created by a 
higher power.  From the opening tip-off, to the 12 straight points that 
Drew scored by himself in the second overtime, the game was an 
incredible event.  My brother's saying was identical before every game, 
"Jimbo, just get the ball and give it to me."  He was right, it always 
seemed to work out.  We won the game 112-109.  We had broken 
Southwestern's 4 year winning streak, and taken our spot high atop the 
"basketball-mountain." 

With one of Drew's silky crossovers he had left his defender 'stuck' on
the right as he swiftly cut to his left and raised a three-ball.  Up, 
and then towards the basket it went.  I knew the play even before the 
ref's whistle blew.  When the games were on the line, coach only had 
one guy that he wanted to have that ball.  Jeff Mitchell inbounded the 
ball from half court with only 4 and a half seconds to go, I already 
knew the outcome.  I was supposed to box-out down below the basket for 
a second chance, if the ball missed and came off the rim.  But I stood 
below the basket waiting for the confetti to rain down, because I knew 
that my brother's shot was going to fall.  I thought about working a 
position for a possible rebound, but I chose instead to watch the play 
unfold.  When I saw Andrew put the ball on the floor and then I saw 
that guy get shook, I just laughed softly to myself thinking about all 
the times in our driveway at home that I had been that guy. 

I held the trophy high above my head in honor, showing the crowd what we
had done.  Drew snipped the net from off the rim before he too held our 
prize above his head in honor.  We dedicated our game to our parents, 
and even chuckled quietly when Coach reminded us of the tantrum that 
our Mother had last year at this time when Mark Gordon of Southwestern 
had hit his magical three-pointer and won the game for them.  She 
yelled at the referees about an offensive foul call, and then argued 
that the shot had been released after the buzzer; she was a wild one.  
She knew all the rules, I would joke that she may have known more about 
the game than even I did. 

They would be proud, if they were still here, to see their boys that
afternoon, triumphant. 


   


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