So in order for me to talk about sports (basketball in particular), I feel like it’s necessary to share my credentials with all of you, my readers (By the way, can we come up with a name for my readership? Sort of how Mark Titus had the “Trillion Man March” can we have something like “The Mulchciples?” Figure it out, readers.). Why do you need to know about my basketball background, you ask? Well, besides loving to brag about my experiences, I want to prove to you that I’m not just some nitwit in a Dikembe Mutombo jersey spouting off unfounded opinions about sports. I may be a nitwit in a Dikembe Mutombo jersey, but trust me, I know my stuff.
DISCLAIMER: If you aren’t interested in this, skip down a few paragraphs – the post will get funnier then.
I was an absolute basketball stud until I was about 12. I was by far the best player in my grade at Linden (the mulch pile days). I was like an eight year old Oscar Robertson – I had size, a dominant midrange game, and phenomenal footwork. I once beat a kid 100 to 9 in one-on-one in elementary school.
In middle school I played up a year in seventh and eighth grade, and would have played high school JV in ninth grade but it wasn’t allowed in our school district. During this period I played AAU for the prestigious Renegades Black, ranked as high as fifth in the country at one point. Comically enough, my basketball peak was reached during the ages 12-15. For some reason, I was playing with the best players in the world, and actually (sort of) held my own.
I played on my high school varsity team for 2 and 1/2 years (I broke my hand my sophomore year), tallying a career high 11 points on two different occasions (are you sensing a decline here?). I led the team in on-ball-charges taken, and had the worst assist/turnover ratio of anyone on the squad.
I’m not really sure why, but I got recruited to play at The University of Mary Washington (they must have REALLY liked charges), so I went there to play and reinvent myself as someone who could, you know, actually play offense. I ended up quitting midway through my first season and playing club (which I helped found and was president of for two years), but before I did, check out the massive numbers I put up during my brief varsity stint (Note – these are actually my career college stats. I wish I was joking):
I know what you’re thinking: “Doug, this is really unimpressive and pointless, why are you wasting our time telling us about your dumb career? You weren’t good at basketball, GET OVER IT!” I get it, on the surface, my experience is rather unimpressive. But let me break it down for you another way…
Below is a list of my lifetime basketball achievements:
- While guarding Tyreke Evans (you know, like the former NBA rookie of the year), he once told Nasir Robinson (played at Pitt) to give him the ball because he “had a mismatch.” I proceeded to flagrantly foul him (it wasn’t called flagrant but I sure as hell wasn’t going for the ball).
- Brandon Jennings once gave me the middle finger.
- I was once on Nickelodeon because I played against Lil’ Romeo’s AAU team (coached by Master P).
- Demar Derozan dunked near (but not on) me once.
- I once scored 13 points in the Johns Hopkins alumni basketball game (weird, right?).
- I’ve acquired an outrageous amount of reversible practice jerseys which are perfect for the beach, men’s league games, and sleeping in.
- People I can say I’ve sweated on: Lance Stephenson, Earving Walker, Chris Wright, Ashton Gibbs, Samme Givens, Zack Zaragoza, Lavoy Allen, Dalton Pepper, Lenny Young, Velton Jones, Khalif Foster, Matt Carroll (I shook his hand and my palm was sweaty, that counts!), and many others.
- During halftime of a Temple basketball game, I scored 5 points in the showcase scrimmage.
- Khalif Wyatt once scored 35 points on me in a high school game (mostly in transition though).
- My AAU team blew out Michael Jordan’s son’s team (the one with the goggles).
- At the AAU national championship tournament in Disney World, with Coach K in the building, I hit 10 straight three pointers during warmups.
- In between games at a tournament once, Silkk the Shocker, who was behind me in the concession stand line, asked me, “How dem hot dogs?” I replied, “They ‘aight.” Silkk bought two hot dogs and went into a closed off room with two body guards to eat them.
Yep, I’m a freaking legend.