It was the first day of middle school basketball camp. The assorted kids looked around anxiously, waiting for instruction. The coach blew his whistle and spoke up.
“Alright kids, time for layup lines!”
The kids shuffled around for a while before arranging themselves into neat lines. Alec Burks stood near the back, eager to show his skills. Slowly, and with many comically missed layups, the line moved forward. Now, it was his turn.
He took the ball, and ran toward the hoop. Instead of laying it up normally, he tried to reverse it while maneuvering his body horizontally. Arms and legs flailed until he hit the court with a thud. The ball hit many parts of the apparatus before falling through the net.
“Stop, stop! What was that, Alec. You trying to get yourself killed?”
Alec looked up at the coach from his position face down on the court.
“That’s just how I shoot layups, coach, I swear. I can’t shoot it any other way. Every time I try to shoot it normally I blow it. This is the way it has to be, this is the way it always has been.”
“Don’t lie to me. Get up, get back to the line.”
Alec sprang up and walked back. When it was his turn for another layup, the other kids watched interestedly as he made his approach.
At first, it seemed like a normal layup. But halfway through his jump he seemingly tried to fight off a non-existant defender with his off hand and flung the ball harshly off the glass. As the ball once again went in, he landed flat on his back.
“And-one!” He shouted gleefully.
“I’ve had it! Until you learn to follow directions I’m gonna have to send you home! Don’t look at me like that. You brought this upon yourself!”
Alec got up and quickly hustled out of the gym, trying to conceal his teary eyes from his bemused teammates and incensed coach.
“I’ll show them”, he mutteredd to himself. “I’ll show them all when I make the NBA and people all around the world praise me for my ability to make contested layups.”