1986. Miami Beach, Florida. North Shore Park. Outdoor basketball courts. Night. Under the sodium lights.
And a little bit chubby. (The polite term back then was “husky.”)
But I can shoot…when I’m wide open.
As usual, I’m practicing by myself on a separate basket.
One of the adults on the “grown men court” walks over to me and asks if I wanna run with them.
I notice they don’t have a basketball. That’s the only reason he came over.
“Yeah, sure” I respond and nervously walk over to their court.
I play a few games. I do okay. Hit a couple jumpers. Everything else needs work. Lots of work.
I keep practicing.
Over the ensuing weeks snd months, I sometimes get asked to play. Even when they have a basketball.
More time passes. More practicing.
I get older. Taller. Better.
I become a regular on the “grown men court.”
I made it.
It doesn’t matter that the only reason you’re in the game is because you brought the ball.
It doesn’t matter that the only reason you’re on that stage is because you produced it.
It only matters what you do once you’re under those lights.