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Airball! Athletic Ineptitude Can Teach an Important Lesson


I’m bad at basketball.

Really, really bad at basketball.

My free throws are just awful—just seriously godawful, you guys. I’ve hit maybe, emphasis on the maybe, two or three “threes” in my unprofessional career. I’m pretty sure that setting a pick has something to do with farming. I couldn’t dunk with Kobe and a stepladder.

I’m okay with it though, because being godawful at basketball forces me to take myself as seriously as everyone else on my team. That is, to say, not seriously at all.

On defense, people score a lot of points on me. Like, way too many. There are fights over which team I’m not going to be on. “You take him.” No, you take him, we took the fourth grader so you have to take Ramey.”

Because of this, I opted not to play recreational (Rec) basketball. Instead of spending my time missing free throws, I’d rather not embarrass myself to an unhealthy degree.

I don’t participate in lunch table discussions on the “wetness” of Melo. Also, I pronounce it as “Mee-loo,” when it’s supposed to be more of a “mellow.”

The first time I heard someone on ESPN use “field goal” to refer to a basket made, I laughed and said to my dad, “Ha! Those idiots said field goal about basketball!”

A field goal is when you score in basketball,” he replied.

Ah,” I said, shocked at how little I know about a sport that practically everyone in the United States can play.

On some Friday nights, I’ve tried to play basketball without looking like a total buffoon—but on literally every occasion, I’ve failed. I succeed though, at entertaining the other team. Most guys that rely on me to not miss the basket by a margin of more than the broad side of a barn are usually less than pleased.

Try as I may to escape basketball, it haunts me. In gym, instead of just sticking with badminton, I’m forced to play basketball. I get “stuffed,” miss the backboard and the net and get stuffed again. Then I miss the backboard with a layup.

I don’t think I should be allowed to play basketball. It’s just not fair. I’m relatively short, have a vertical in the single digits, and my shooting style is heavy on the underhanded, Grannie-style shot.

In the meantime though, I’ll continue to take shots, miss, get made fun of, take another shot, get passed over for a fourth grader and smile the whole time. It’s not fun to be terrible at basketball, but it is fun to laugh at air ball after air ball that I throw in the general direction of the basket.

I’m trapped in a basketball world. Good thing I can laugh at myself, because I have to.


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About the Contributor
Chris Ramey
Chris Ramey, Staff Writer
From joining the water polo team to becoming web features editor, Chris Ramey ’14 has his high school career pretty laid out. Next on the agenda? An admirable ambition—he wants to be a Navy Seal. It was his dad’s involvement in the Marine Corps—more specifically Force Recon—that originally sparked his interest in becoming a Navy Seal. Ramey expects that a lot of the skills he gains from his Inklings experience will carry over to his practices later in life, and help him to model himself after his dad: tough, determined, and intelligent. “The training is arguably the hardest on the planet, and I like that as a challenge,” he says. “I’d like to be able to say I went in and came out with my head held high.” Ramey joined Inklings this year after having Ms. McNamee as an English teacher freshman year, and so far he has nothing but grand plans. He wants to make full use of the web capabilities, including videos—perhaps even partnering with STN.

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