I am a Basketball player through and through. However, I am actually very short at only 5ft 2 inches. How can I play Basketball I hear you ask? Well the position I play is either a point guard or shooting guard. They tend to be the smallest or smaller players on the court.
So, when a couple of close friends asked me to play Netball with them I reculantly said “ok but I haven’t played for a long time” They said that’s OK just don’t dribble the ball!!! Lol.
Very different to a Basketball. So hard not to dribble it.
Game day arrives.
I am introduced to the team I would be playing for. Lots of hellos exchanges, then the moment the dreaded question was asked! What position do I play or can I play? There was an extended period of hesitation with my reply being “I don’t really know I haven’t played Netball in ages” Oh the exchange of looks I could see. Ones of great she doesn’t know what she is doing, fabulous she has no idea and some others that should probably not even be repeated on this very blog. You knew what they were thinking!!!
I did tell them I played Basketball and this sort of changed their opinion. Thank goodness.
The position I was given for this game was GA (goal attack) I was hoping and praying my shot, which I rely on in Basketball, would not let me down!!!
As we position ourselves, I ended up standing next to lady who terrified me! This is the only way I can hopefully get across to you how concerned I was.
She walked the walk but also talked to talked. If a player was not having a good game they knew about it.
I hear you asking why did she terrify me so much?
So, here it goes. She terrified me because I was a mere 5ft 2 inches tall weighing no more than around 9 stone. This lady was as broad as she was tall. Now, this isn’t intended to sound rude or horrible but the joke between me and my two friends remains today. When we talk of our netball memories this story is usually the first told. The story of the big mama.
Sometimes, I still have nightmares. You will understand why when you read this story.
Basketball is a sport where you can guard your player as close as you want. In netball it’s a metre away from their landing foot. At first there were a few contacts from her on me as apparently I was quite quick which she didn’t like. She made her thoughts well known. I was quite surprised I didn’t land on my backside more often!
The next two moments may have you laughing, they may have you sniggering. For me I was definitely crying. From tears of pain!
I shudder as these memories come back.
I managed to get myself into the shooting D, passed the big mama. I shot the ball, luckly it goes in. However, she is defending and looses her balance as she leans in. The next thing I know I am in a heap on the floor with her on top of me! I could hear my friends laughing. According to my friends it looked like something out of comedy sketch. The only part of me that could be seen was my legs kicking around in a very uncomfortable way.
The squashing of tiny me felt like it went on for an eternity. The relief I felt as she peeled herself off was one of great joy. My team came to see if I was OK but mostly laughed and the umpire was trying not burst into laughter as she checked I was OK. After a few seconds recovery and regaining my thoughts, after my life flashed before my eyes, I was able to carry on.
The next moment sums up my first game of netball in years!!!!!!
Again my speed allowed me to get into the shooting D. This time a little further away from the goal post. I put my shot up. It goes in just. However, we both go in for the rebound. This time she defend well and kept me from getting anywhere near the ball using her backside! The song that springs to mind at this very moment SIR-MIX-ALOT . It’s quite a well known song so I will leave you to figure out the song title!
I bounced off her, falling backwards. To stop myself from falling I decided to grab hold of the lady, the big mama. Thinking I would be safe and would stop my fall.
What do you think happens next?
Do I fall? Do I managed to stop even more embrassment?
Breathe, I managed to grab her, yes, but in a fairly uncomfortable area. Her boob. Yep you read it correctly! HER BOOB.!!! She screamed in pain “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
As we both collapsed in a heap on the floor again. I felt the death stare. I immediately apologised and explained myself. I think I would have been punched to the other side of the court if I didn’t. Like in video games or fighting films when they slow it down.
After all that comedy and embrassment was I invited to play netball again I hear you ask?
The answer was a surprising yes. I am still not sure today if it was for my netball prowess or my comedy of errors.
I can tell you this though, I think I proved my worth as I went on to play centre, wing attack and even had a go at goal shooter. With even more comedy gold.
The goal keeper story we shall save for another time, maybe.
After all it’s about enjoying your time and, for me, making memories. These stories have definitely been told and retold over a number of years.