A/n The attached image is one of Dwayne. Hope you enjoy!
Okay, maybe it isn’t really accurate to call him short, but he really seems so short compared to the other guys, thinks Spencer, then realizing that he was one of those 'other guys'.
“So . . . uh, what exactly are all of these positions?” asks Spencer, looking around hopefully. Maybe the nice-looking kid named Colin will help me. Maybe the captain that sighs a whole lot will tell me.
“Well,” the captain says (after sighing, of course), “There are five basic positions. Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Small Forward, Power Forward, and Center. We usually group them into Guards, Forwards, and the Center depending on how they can rebound, how good they are at driving, how fast they can cut in, how well they can shoot, and other stuff. ”
Spencer nods, completely discombobulated-- he has no idea what the captain is saying. Rebounds? Driving? Cut in? What in the world is that!?!?
“I’m guessing that Chris here is a good shot. I hope Colin can drive. I can probably throw in a few layups as a Forward. The only thing is, Dwayne here is . . . well . . . he’s not exactly short . . . but he’s . . . he doesn’t really seem . . . ” Alex pauses for thought, obviously trying to find the least insulting way of saying it, “. . . Uh . . . built for center.”
Dwayne, who had been on the verge of exploding already, fumes, “Well, who here is qualified for center more than me? Stickman over here has got the height, but he doesn’t have any strength!”
Chris glares, and Spencer suspects that it's more because of the nickname than the comment about his physical prowess, “Is that supposed to be a challenge?”
“You bet, Sticky,” says Dwayne, who smiles, “Bring it on.”
And all Spencer can think of at the moment is how Dwayne will probably continue the shorten the nickname from Stickman to Sticky to . . .
"Hey Sticks, you can start," says Dwayne.
Spencer can tell that Alex definitely hates this little showdown, but nothing Alex does in protest can stop the two hotheads.
Five minutes later, Dwayne and Chris are on the court, Chris with the ball, and Dwayne guarding him. Well, this will be a good time for me to learn more about basketball, thinks Spencer, and after a pause, also realizes to himself, and also a good time to learn why I should probably avoid these two guys.
Chris immediately begins to dribble, bouncing the ball with his right hand and his left hand, alternating between each. Dwayne bends his knees slightly and stays silent, his eyes bouncing along with the ball.
For a moment, time seems to stop as the two players prepare for anything. The ball slows down, Dwayne bends his knees lower, and suddenly, Chris bursts forward. The ball slams down on the court as Chris tries to maneuver around Dwayne, twisting and turning, while the ball follows him closely.
“So this . . . is basketball,” murmurs Spencer, in awe. Despite Chris’ overwhelming height and speed, Dwayne continues to physically wedge himself between Chris and the basketball goal. Without warning, Chris hastily jumps up with the ball high above his head, in the universal symbol of I’m about to shoot.
But Dwayne jumps higher.
And with a roar, he slaps the ball out of Chris’ grasp the same way one would violently high-five a friend. Chris gapes in astonishment.
“H-how did you . . . ?” Chris trailed off, staring blankly at the basketball, which is sitting behind him.
“Arrogant.”-- Dwayne sneers and begins walking away-- “Just because you’re tall doesn’t mean you can beat me,” Dwayne sneers at him one last time and points at Alex, “When’s practice?”
Alex, who seems to be trying to keep his composure, pauses, “Well, if we want to play to the best of our ability, we should have practice every weekday after school--”
“Then see you tomorrow,” interrupts Dwayne, as he leaves the gym. The door closes with a bang, leaving Chris, Colin, Spencer, and Alex staring at each other awkwardly.
“Well, does anyone want to practice?” Alex looks at them.
Spencer really wants to practice, but seeing the weird faces on his teammates, he doesn’t really want to jump in.
If 'no' was an expression, then they would probably have it splattered all over their face right now, thinks Spencer
Alex sighs, if not for the twentieth time that day, “See you tomorrow, then.”
And the team disperses in silence, almost like the shadow of a team that was once great.