When I was kid I loved basketball, almost as much as baseball and I played a lot. I was gangly and awkward but I could shoot ok. My school (St. Ann’s, Keansburg) had an intramural basketball “league”. League is pushing it a bit, there might have been four teams, that I’m pretty sure consisted of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. The games took place in the gym and it was mainly a lot of running around and missed shots. One saturday our team (who’s name I have forgotten) played another team that had a guy who’s mother had just died. His name was John and he was a big quiet kid. I think the prevailing thought was, maybe basketball will take his mind off his mom. We started playing and I wanted to win. I was a kid, this was years before I started getting fucked up and sports were still pure. In my head I was on the Knicks (Dave DeBusschere), the game meant something to me. So I saw an opportunity and stole the ball from John and headed all by myself to the basket. An easy two points, and a heads up play by me. The next thing I know I’m lying two rows in on the sidelines in a pile of metal folding chairs. I had no idea what happened. The ref who helped me up told me that right after I stole the ball, John ran up behind me and punched me in the back of the head and sent me into the chairs. I asked him if I was going to get a foul shot and he told me that no, there wasn’t any foul and I shouldn’t have stolen the ball from John as his mother had just died.