Dooley Meadows Basketball god

Posted: February 19, 2015 in Lit Gems


Dooley Meadows stood on the small hill: the one with a basketball court where nobody played. Sometimes they ran half court drills there, but most times it remained empty. He stood weeping on the small hill looking down upon the main court. His heart broken and soul shattered. There was an All Star came in progress: the best from his age group sprinted to the jovial screams from the crowd, which consisted of the entire Basketball camp.
The squeaking of rubber soles and the thumping of fake leather on the blacktop echoed throughout the dark valley. The outdoor lights gave the green, ivy colored basketball courts an all most ethereal glow.
Maybe, I should go to the beginning. We can come back to Dooley on the hill in a bit. Dooley Meadows was a teenager from a small river town on the working class side of Jersey Delaware. He was rail thin, with a slight limp, and tan reddish skin. He didn’t know much about style. Many times he dressed in cut-off tough skins and some sort of tight fitting t-shirt with something far from cool pictured on front. He wore a baseball hat over his large, mop of shameful, wild curly hair, because his mother’s haircuts made him appear like a third world orphan. So he stuck to the hat and turned it sideways, trying to create cool. It became his unofficial trademark.
That winter he’d discovered a role model. That hero was a tall, peace man with a glorious cloud-like Afro: his name was Julius Erving. The first time Dooley’s young eyes captured the Doctor, he was lying on the floor in the living room, watching a twelve-inch black and white t.v. An American Express commercial came on the tube and his pupils were drawn to the screen like metal to magnets. He propped himself up on one arm and turned to his mother who was in the middle of hemming a pair of plaid pants. “What does he do?” He asked She looked up from her sewing machine and paused,
“I think he plays basketball.”
She was no sports fan, as a matter of fact the only man his mother talked about was Robert Redford. Dooley decided if Julius Erving played basketball, so would he even if he didn’t know how. He made the basketball team for his Catholic school finding his niche rebounding and playing hard. Even with a slight limp, he was still more athletic than most kids his age. His empathetic coach Andy, a young bullish man with bowl cut hair, who frothed at the mouth when calling out plays took him under his wing.
His team (the Falcons) made it to the playoffs that year but lost. Two weeks before the game, Dooley went under the knife for a procedure on his leg, which relegated him to spectator during the defeat. Yet, with Andy’s tutelage, he quickly learned the game of Naismith. Somehow that spring, Dooley came across a pamphlet for a Basketball camp, taking place in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. He brought it to his parent’s attention. His folks worked hard and they were on the middle end of middle class. Extra money wasn’t a luxury, so he expected his request to be rejected like a jump-shot attempt over Moses Malone. Yet, his parents knew his love for basketball: the sport brought their melancholy son joy. They paid for the camp and he was on his way to the Pocono’s.

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Dooley Meadows Basketball god


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