Yesterday we played Pully, a team that has the #1 leading scorer in the conference (I know, I’m sad I don’t hold that spot too), averaging 32.7 points per game. I repeat, averaging 32.7 points per game. The most number of shots I’ve taken in a game since coming here has been 18, and I’ve only done that twice. This player averages 19 shots a game. Anyways, the last time we played this team their two Americans combined for 80 points, out of 98. Yikes. Needless to say our game plan was to limit their Americans’ points this game. In fact, it was my duty to face-guard the #1 leading scorer in the conference. I need to take a minute to say that I have never envied a person on any of my teams with the job of guarding the other team’s best player. I have always loved helping my teammate who was picked to guard that player (a.k.a. being a last resort guarding the basket, maybe blocking a shot or two), but never was dying to be that person. Our team held the league’s #1 leading scorer to 19 points in our game yesterday, a feat that I can honestly say I’m proud of.
The game itself was really hard-fought - I mean this literally. The girl I was guarding and I shoved, pushed, pulled, punched, clotheslined, and at moments even jumped on each other. I have never been so blatantly physical with anyone in my life – and guess what! The refs didn’t call a single off-the-ball foul. There was a possession where a girl shot the ball and I literally took her arms and locked them down at her sides…I didn’t get the rebound, but neither did she. On another possession just running down the court she decked me right across the chest. It was a battle, it was tough, and it was fun. Sometimes I wonder what I’m going to do in the real world when it’s not okay to jump on a player (to teach the refs what an actual foul looks like). Yoga just doesn’t help me release that frustration quite as successfully for some reason.
We ended up losing the game by two points. This is how annoying this game was… with .5 seconds left on the clock, us down by two, it was the other team’s ball out of bounds right near the basket they were defending. The scorer’s table blew the horn (to tell us what? Time out? Sub?), the referee inbounded the ball with half of both team’s heads looking at the scorer’s table. Ref blows his whistle. Game over. Did they put the time back up on the clock? No. Did we find out why the scorer’s table blew the horn? No. Were we even given a chance to see what could have happened? No. Game Over.
Later that night we got ready for a teammate’s birthday party themed, “Hollywood.” I originally wanted to go as Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, but I couldn’t find an appropriate wig. So I decided to go as Sandy from Grease instead. I joined Cat Woman, Barbie, Lara Croft, and a Moulin Rouge dancer (?) as well as some other very nicely red-carpet dressed teammates for a night of dancing.
Sometime around midnight after I broke out some seriously old-school dance moves (hey, I think the best song of the night was MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This”), this guy came over and started talking to me. After a while he asked for my name, and I introduced myself as “Hillary.” I got the reply, “Oh like Clinton?” My immediate thought was, ‘Hill, he’s not American, don’t get into politics,’ so I just responded, “Yup, just like that, and yours?” “Bill…” Without any hesitation I responded, “Nice to meet you.” After trying to recover from his lame joke that went over my head (in all honesty, he looked like someone I knew and I was more interested in trying to remember that kid’s name), one of my teammates came over and said, “Give me a signal if you need to be rescued.” Yes, guys, girls really DO do this. So naturally when I went to wipe my forehead she mistook my hard work on the dance floor as a ‘save me’ signal, came over, grabbed my hand and led me away from ‘Bill.’ Poor Bill. I didn't really need rescuing, but that's what we call a different kind of defense, the kind female friends are great at: help-side…