Instead of going to a meeting, I spent last night at Allentown's Cedar Beach Park. Local high school teams were playing basketball, and it cost nothing to watch. Teams came from all over the Lehigh Valley. I saw Saucon Valley, Freedom, Easton, Liberty and Emmaus, to name a few. But I was there primarily to watch Becahi and Whitehall.
Many varsity basketball players also play football, and their coaches won't release them from the weight room for these games. So they arrive late, or not at all. But that's good news for 8th graders like Mikey Esquilin (left) and Dat Lambert (right). They both not only played, but even started. That's the beauty of Summer Hoops, when the coaches and kids are more relaxed, more willing to try different things, more willing to have fun.
Mikey and Dat are both point guards, and have been playing with or against each other since first grade. Over the years, they've become great friends. But all that goes out the window when they face each other. They had a blast, and also play on the freshman and JV teams, along with AAU. They basically play 6 days a week. They are lucky, too, because they both have had plenty of support from people who, unlike me, know how to play the sport.
Mikey has had different coaches, including his Dad and a Salvation Army coach who never lost a game. His mom and grandmother are at every game, rooting him on.
Last night, Rodney watched Dat play. "Keep your head up," he'd remind him."Don't lose that dribble too soon," whatever that means.
I take pictures.
Whitehall drubbed Becahi in this game, though nobody seemed to notice the score. Dat blamed his new shoes. He and Mikey skipped off to the playground (at least that's what they said) while parents gossiped.
|He's definitely getting a lot bigger than his mom.|