A/n: don't know if anyone will understand the art. How about we do something different this time? If it's not too much try to guess what's happening in this picture! (Use past images to find which two people are shown).
Never in his short, basketball-filled life has Alex been on a more annoying team. He has two players who can barely stand during a practice game. He has one player who's too bold, arrogant, and only has his jumping power and speed in replace of his lack of skill. And Alex has one player who's tall, but so rude that Alex cannot stand it anymore.
What's worse is that there are only five players-- the minimum for a basketball team. At least one extra player would be nice. Without the substitutes, the Marble Creek Basketball Team will have a very, very hard time.
And it's Alex's last year. He'd already stayed a year for basketball. He refused to suffer a defeat.
In sixth grade, he didn't play basketball. That was his mistake. If Alex had joined during sixth grade, he might have improved enough over time to help the eight graders win the championships, but all of his older teammates have moved on to high school already. Alex hated that feeling.
That feeling of being abandoned.
Alex had only started to enjoy basketball. He was starting to make friends, have fun, and play competitive. Before he could truly get embroiled in the wonderful sport, everyone had left, leaving him with no one.
Alex refused to let anyone else feel that. Even though there was no one else on the team at the time, Alex made the decision to stay a grade last summer. He told the teachers that he felt his learning skill was poor, and proved it by intentionally failing tests. He knew it was wrong to do that, but he just couldn't leave the basketball team behind. He had to keep on pushing everyone forward-- even if it meant that he was the only one pushing.
Alex had strained to keep the team going. The volleyball team almost took the court from him, but he successfully kept it. His foster parents almost sent him to high school, but he prevented it. Alex had tried to convince a sixth grader to join the team, but Alex apparently looked so scary that he was almost expelled for verbal assault.
Never in his short, basketball-filled life had Alex been on a more [i]broken[/i] team. Every single year, Marble Creek lost in the first match of the tournament. They were truly a horrible team. Alex resented their coach for only teaching fundamentals and not any plays. Alex resented the quitters who left the team after defeat. Alex resented those who refused to play, believing that the team would lose anyway.
Alex flicked his hair to the side, That doesn't matter right now. Right now, I'm in a game with my new team. We're going to win the championships.
The game continues to move forward, and the ball never touches Alex's hands.
Not even once.
Alex growls. The fourth quarter begins to roll around, and he manages to calm down. This is where I'm strongest.
"Whatcha grinning about?" asked Dwayne, walking up next to Alex during the break after third quarter.
"Fourth quarter is coming up," replies Alex, breathing hard. He can feel the energy and adrenaline pumping through his veins.
"And . . . ?" prompts Chris. Alex realizes that this team has never played with him before.
"I'm unable to play at my best until the fourth quarter begins," says Alex, wiping sweat from his forehead. After Dwayne and Chris give him a confused look, he adds, "It's just how I warm up."
"Why don't you warm up beforehand, then?" wonders Spencer.
"If I do, I end up getting burned out by the second quarter. It's how I roll, don't worry," Alex assures them, stretching his ankles.
"That's a pretty lousy strategy, if you ask me," grumbles Dwayne, "You need to work on your stamina."
Alex is about to reply when Colin jumps in, "You need to see how he moves in fourth quarters. No amount of stamina training can allow him to do that for more than one quarter."
"You've seen me play?" Alex raises can eyebrow at Colin.
"I've . . . I-uh . . . I did some research before joining the team," admits Colin, "I watched the last five games of this team from last year, so I've seen you play."
Alex sighs, hiding a smile. This guy is crazy. Watching the last five games as research before joining a recreational sports team? Colin is serious!
"Let's get on the court. As long as you manage to get the ball into my hands, we're good," says Alex, "I know that sounds a bit arrogant, but I refuse to leave this game with a score of zero."
Chris, Spencer, and Colin nod. Dwayne is a bit hesitant, but finally agrees.
"Let's show them how strong we really are!" roars Dwayne.
And everything erupts into their control. With a new goal in mind, to score one point, Colin seems to have calmed down, so he starts dribbling down the court, even navigating around a defender.
He sends the ball to Spencer, who is still inexperienced. Spencer hastily throws a pass in the direction of Dwayne, but unfortunately, the pass is intercepted by the other team's point guard, who wears some really sophisticated sports glasses.
Alex growls and darts in front of Glasses. The opponent is surprised for a moment, but then continues on in a routine fake-fake-spin move to get around Alex, but Alex is too smart for that.
During the second fake, Alex shoots out a hand, and the ball sails right into his fingers. He smiles and pulls back, dribbling the ball behind his back.
"You guys have no idea how awesome it feels to have the ball back in my hands again," Alex smiles, finally relaxed.
Glasses-Guy is infuriated, "Take this!"
He reaches for the ball, but Alex dribbles away, narrowly dodging the attempted attack.
Whoosh. One defender down, four to go.
He then shoots forward like a bullet, not even caring to use fakes on the opponents; he just sails right past them with overwhelming speed.
Whoosh. Two defenders down, three to go.
Alex twists and turns, sending the surprised defenders flailing in all directions, wondering why they're chasing empty space.
Whoosh. Three defenders down, two to go.
He stops, and then sprints forward with explosive and aggressive speed, easily shooting past the defense.
Whoosh. Four defenders down, one to go.
Finally, it's the captain with weird hair. Alex darts right in front of the opponent, dribbling dangerously close. Weird-Hair falls for the bait and reaches for the ball. Alex speedily dribbles away and twists around Weird-Hair.
Whoosh. Five defenders down, none to go.
Actually, there's still one to go. There's nothing between him and the goal now. He can feel the victory cradled in his fingers.
Alex prepares for the lay-up. He takes his first step.
He takes his second step.
He leaps into the air, feeling his hair fly back. The ball floats out of his hands in the direction of the goal. It floats . . . and floats . . . and floats . . . and . . .
Swish. The ball goes in-- six down, none to go.