it’s a girl thingPosted: June 21, 2012
They sprinted up the court, the packed gym loud and raucous as the crosstown South team squared off against our little Lutheran inner city team. So loud you could barely hear yourself think, South boasted ten times our students and filled our small gym with loud energetic supporters of their girls basketball team.
The ball went inside to Selise, tall, slender, graceful and the then bounced away out of bounds. We could run with them, even win as long as Selise was on. She stood, mesmerized by the ball and then turned shoulders slumped, head down and began trudging back for defense.
We had to get her back in the game. All season long we had worked with her, convincing this quiet shy girl that she could be agressive, take charge on the court. Like most inner city kids there was no father to cheer her on and even worse her mother favored Selise’s younger sister, leaving us a raw unpolished gem with talent she never learned to trust.
“Q, in for Selise.” Quincy, called Q by everyone, ambled to the table, the horn sounded and Selise headed to the end of the bench.
“Selice, not down there, sit next to me.” She walked slowly up the bench and plopped down next to me while the game continued and Troy the head coach shouted instructions from the sidlines next to us.
“Sit here, we will give you two minutes to rest, and then you go back in.”
She didn’t say anything, just stared glumly at the floor.
“Are you OK, do you feel sick?”
She shook her head no.
“Selise, look at me. When you go back in, you are going to be great. I believe in you.”
She looked up at me, and said, “It’s… it’s my boyfriend is sitting next to Danielle.”