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E - Everyone

King of the Court - 14.5

by yoshi


Epilogue

Concrete is most definitely the superior surface for basketball. The thumping noise that it makes is a lot more mellow than on hardwood, where it echoes angrily. When a basketball bounces on concrete, it almost sounds as if it's a heartbeat.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

Dwayne Lawrence laughs as he weaves his way around defenders. Everyone knows he loves streetball. He loves every aspect of it. The wind, the sun, the sense of community, even the concrete.

His friends once asked him why he laughs all the time when he plays. He replied that he just enjoyed the sport. His friends then joked that they could call him the Smiling Center. Dwayne told them that the name was already reserved. No one understood what he meant, but why argue with the biggest man on the basketball court?

It's been about five years since he graduated, and all Dwayne has been doing was working part-time and playing basketball.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump

Every time Dwayne hears that resounding beat, he just feels like smiling. He has no idea if it's even legal to be this happy.

Dwayne loves basketball. He loves everything about it. There is no aspect of basketball that he dislikes. But the best part?

No matter which direction he looks, whether it's up, down, left, or right, he can see the sky. The wide, wide sky. The endless, beautiful blue sky. No ceiling, no roof, nothing blocking his vision. Nothing looking down at him.

Dwayne knows he won't stop smiling any time soon.

. . .

Boom-boom-boom-boom-boom.

The bouncing of the basketball on a hardwood floor is quite loud, but Alexander Song has gotten used to it. Instead of letting it echo around in his head, building pressure and nervousness, he lets it bounce off of him, energizing him.

After getting a sports scholarship to his favorite college basketball team, Alex basketball-ed his way through his life. He was drafted into the NBA on a moderately strong team, and after quite a bit of hard work, he was quickly onto the starting lineup.

Surprisingly, Alex had a hard time becoming a starter. Pro basketball had so many strong players, and Alex was very discouraged. It was nothing like in college, high school, and middle school.

The thought of middle school sends a shiver through Alex and he nearly loses the ball. He wonders if his old teammates have forgotten him. He knows he'll never forget that year. Chris, Dwayne, Colin, Spencer. They were all unforgettable.

Alex dashes back and forth, unable to swing the defenders. When he began his professional basketball career, Alex was unsettled. Everyone was so fast and agile. It felt like he was playing against a team of muscular, extra-fast Copelands.

He even recognized some players from middle school, like Fernando, who had unsurprisingly continued playing.

Even Fernando is so much stronger, thinks Alex, then he shakes his head, ridding himself of negativity. He's come to accept this. He now plays on equal footing with everyone. Basketball has not failed Alex, and he doubts it ever will.

After all, as long as Alex still plays basketball, he'll still forever be the King of the Court.

. . .

Christopher Miller wasn't sure why he signed up for this job. He's one of the most well-known mechanics at the NASA Glenn Research Center, so he was destined to be hunted down and dragged all the way down to Florida to help out.

Maybe I could have pretended to be sick? Yeah right. What kind of illness makes you unable to work for a whole month? Black death? COVID-19?

"Christopher, come over here for a second!" shouts one of the mechanics, the steam muffling his voice.

Chris gives him the stink eye, and the mechanic quickly fixes his mistake.

"Fine, Chris, can you come over here for a second?" the mechanic shouts more politely, although still very loud.

Chris jogs over and asks, "What's going on?"

"Oh . . . nothing much, just maintaining a spaceship. What about you?" the mechanic replies dryly.

"Alright, alright, I get it. What did you need me for?" Chris smirks.

"Well, one of the guys up top gave us the details for the launch. Y'know, the astronauts and stuff," the mechanic replies.

Chris is sure that the 'stuff' is probably something interesting, but for now, he's more interested in working on his project near the bottom of the left engine.

"Just take the paper," the mechanic groans, probably noticing Chris' bored attitude.

Chris grabs it and skims over the paper quickly, but something catches his eye. He glances back at the paper again and examines it carefully.

Something about the name of one of the astronauts is familiar, but Chris just can't figure out why.

. . .

"Mr. Richards," a kid asks, "Since we're all done with our work, can we watch the spaceship?"

Another kid joins in, "Spaceship! Spaceship!"

Colin Richards sighs dramatically and finally gives in. For the past ten minutes, the kids were asking him if he could show them the spaceship, and it was true that they did finish their classwork quickly.

Back in middle school, Colin would have never expected that he would become a Kindergarten teacher, but it wasn't a terrible job. The kids were nice, and the pay wasn't terrible. After breaking free from a very stressful middle school, Colin led a very unfulfilling high school life and majored in literature.

He wanted to do something cool but settled on a nicer, quieter lifestyle.

At least . . . it was quiet when the TV wasn't playing the launch of a space shuttle.

To the kids' anguish, Colin turns down the volume of the TV.

"Who are the astronauts?" asks one kid.

Colin replies, "I can search it up for you."

"Okay!"

Colin doubts the names of the astronauts will interest him, but he googles it anyways.

. . .

"You can do it, Spence. Stop being nervous!" Gordon chuckles, throwing an arm around Spencer, "We're pioneers! We're the cream of the crop! We're the conquistadors!"

Spencer doubts that Gordon even understood anything that just came out of his mouth, considering Spencer doesn’t either.

"That's the third time you've said that in the past five minutes," Spencer responds, crossing his arms. The seat is moderately comfortable. Not the kind of soft that you could sleep in, but not as extremely hard either.

"All passengers, please place your seat belts on. We are experiencing some turbulence," Gabriel calls from the back, mimicking the voice of a flight attendant.

Spencer latches the seat belt on. He has no idea what it's called, but he's sure it's not a seat belt. After all, it basically latches him completely onto the chair.

"Ready for launch," says an actual robotic voice.

"T-minus 30 seconds until launch."

"T-minus five seconds until launch," Gabriel calls from the back again, and Spencer nearly freaks out.

"Shut up! I'm gonna get a heart attack!" Spencer growls. Spencer remembers preparing for this. I shouldn't be nervous. I can do this.

"T-minus 10 seconds until launch."

Spencer closes his eyes, mentally counting down the timer with the robotic voice, like a basketball scoreboard countdown.

"10."

Basketball? That's probably my favorite sport.

"9."

I wonder if my old teammates from middle school can see me.

"8."

Alex, the prodigy who helped shape the team.

"7."

Chris, the tall and skinny shooting guard.

"6."

Colin, the awesome, but nervous point guard.

"5."

Coach Jacob Miller, the wonderful coach.

"4."

And Dwayne.

"3."

The one who taught me . . .

"2."

. . . that anything is possible, as long as you're ready put in all the effort you have!

"1."

The room begins to vibrate, and Spencer feels the immense force already, slamming him into the chair. Gordon is screaming, but Spencer can’t tell if it’s a joke. Spencer wants to scream, too. It scares him. The launch scares him more than anything else in his life.

But after he thinks about all the amazing things and people that have pushed him to this point in time, he manages a smile.

I’m going to keep jumping higher and higher!

I could dunk yesterday . . . what’s next?

🏀


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Wed Jul 19, 2023 8:07 pm
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OrabellaAvenue wrote a review...



Hiya! Orabella, here to crazily jump up and down.

Okay, to start off, let me just freak out for approximately three seconds...

ahhhhhHHHHHHHAHHAHAHAHHHAHHHHHHH ilag ag FEFVAQK! tst, a hah qsi ybdyni ilfi.

*Ahem*. Sorry about that. No wait I'm not sorry. Because this is literally so so good. I cannot even explain.

Is this really the last one??! I think I'm gonna cry now... but this was a perfect way to wrap up the story, even if, *sniff*, I didn't want it to happen so soon.

Dwayne's outside now, which suits him. He never liked it much inside, which we learning in... let's see, chapter 12? 13? I don't remember. But when Marble Creek was playing the last team they lost to. It's just so nice to see that.

Also, Alex got on a freaking NBA TEAM???!!! THAT'S CRAZY OH MY GOSH. I mean, I knew he was good, but, wow, this is amazing. CONGRATULATIONS ALEX! I KNOW YOU'LL DO GREAT!!!

I never thought Chris would be an engineer for NASA... This is something I never expected. Not in one million years. You need to know a lot to help create a space ship, and I didn't think, well, that Chris would care? I mean he doesn't... actually, now I'm very worried... what if Chris isn't doing his job right?? WHAT IF THE SHIP FAILS! AHHH!!! SAVE SPENCER AND GORDON AND GABRIEL!!

Colin as a kindergarten teacher? Actually, I think that works fairly well with him. I don't know why exactly, but that just seems to fit so perfectly.

Also Spencer's an astronaut. Hmm. Also unexpected, but not quite as crazy as Chris.

You know, at one point I wanted to be an engineer for NASA. Not really because I like engineering, but because I love space.

Also, sorry for the delay. I haven't had all that much time recently...

Anyway, this almost made me cry. The whole story is just amazing; breathtaking; and I seriously think you should publish it. Or something else. Because you are very talented, my friend, and the world deserves to read whatever you want to write.

Never forget to...

Keep writing!




yoshi says...


tysm for the review and coming along on their journey haha <3333

you're comments were super helpful!!



OrabellaAvenue says...


I'm glad. Seriously, so happy I found this. But also... what do I do without this amazing story to look forward to reading? I guess I can read it again...



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Mon Jul 03, 2023 2:30 pm
alpacaboss wrote a review...



Although I haven't read the entire story, I really loved how you wrote the ending of the story. Satisfying, heart-warming, and overall lovely. As I do, I will discuss the parts that I find crucial or those I find wonderful. Let's get started!

Concrete is most definitely the superior surface for basketball. The thumping noise that it makes is a lot more mellow than on hardwood, where it echoes angrily. When a basketball bounces on concrete, it almost sounds as if it's a heartbeat.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump.


This is a great start to the end of the chapter. It shows the heart and authenticity and love of one for basketball, showing their appreciation for the sport and its beauty.

Dwayne Lawrence laughs as he weaves his way around defenders. Everyone knows he loves streetball. He loves every aspect of it. The wind, the sun, the sense of community, even the concrete.

His friends once asked him why he laughs all the time when he plays. He replied that he just enjoyed the sport. His friends then joked that they could call him the Smiling Center. Dwayne told them that the name was already reserved. No one understood what he meant, but why argue with the biggest man on the basketball court?

It's been about five years since he graduated, and all Dwayne has been doing was working part-time and playing basketball.

----

Dwayne knows he won't stop smiling any time soon.


Enter our first character, Dwanye. He definitely has a passion for basketball to the point he becomes a smiling giant while engaging in the sport. I love how you said that he won't stop smiling any time soon. It shows that he will continue to play streetball and forever love it. As someone who knows of a person who has an intense interest in something, this is exactly how they act. So good job for depicting that!

The bouncing of the basketball on a hardwood floor is quite loud, but Alexander Song has gotten used to it. Instead of letting it echo around in his head, building pressure and nervousness, he lets it bounce off of him, energizing him.

After getting a sports scholarship to his favorite college basketball team, Alex basketball-ed his way through his life. He was drafted into the NBA on a moderately strong team, and after quite a bit of hard work, he was quickly onto the starting lineup.

---

After all, as long as Alex still plays basketball, he'll still forever be the King of the Court.


Next is Alex. As you say at the end of his story, he will still forever be the King of the Court. So, I could presume that he is one of the best players among the list of people you mentioned in the epilogue. I like how his journey did not end with happily ever after. He still struggles to remain on top and has to strive to be the top. But that does not deter him because he is confident in himself despite being bombarded with negative thoughts. This is a great mindset to show, and I love it!

Christopher Miller wasn't sure why he signed up for this job. He's one of the most well-known mechanics at the NASA Glenn Research Center, so he was destined to be hunted down and dragged all the way down to Florida to help out.


Of course, it is true that not all people who love a sport will become part of the varsity. Evident in this case, he used his smarts to become a mechanic. He is obviously well-rounded, playing basketball and being quite intelligent. I like the variety of routes each person takes, each of them good in their own way.

Back in middle school, Colin would have never expected that he would become a Kindergarten teacher, but it wasn't a terrible job. The kids were nice, and the pay wasn't terrible. After breaking free from a very stressful middle school, Colin led a very unfulfilling high school life and majored in literature.


Quite interesting how one of them became a teacher. Stereotypical, this is not the route most men would go, but I like this change. I'm sure that he will make an impact on the kids, even if he feels somewhat bored at times/

The room begins to vibrate, and Spencer feels the immense force already, slamming him into the chair. Gordon is screaming, but Spencer can’t tell if it’s a joke. Spencer wants to scream, too. It scares him. The launch scares him more than anything else in his life.

But after he thinks about all the amazing things and people that have pushed him to this point in time, he manages a smile.

I’m going to keep jumping higher and higher!

I could dunk yesterday . . . what’s next?


Jumping to the end, I really love how you framed this. For Spencer, the experience he had during middle school affected his life and still influences him until now. The epilogue ends with a hopeful note, saying that the story has not ended, and everyone is off doing great things. Who knows? Perhaps a sequel might bring them all together to teach and impact a new generation. Perhaps even many more children.


Overall, this is a wonderful conclusion to the story, just like those heartwarming endings in movies. Great job at making me empathize with the characters even if I just see their end stories.

This is alpacaboss, signing off.




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Wed Jun 21, 2023 11:02 am
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



I'm back!

Concrete is most definitely the superior surface for basketball. The thumping noise that it makes is a lot more mellow than on hardwood, where it echoes angrily. When a basketball bounces on concrete, it almost sounds as if it's a heartbeat.

I loved this as a start to the epilogue! It's got such a good tone, and it totally works with the fact we're wrapping up this story.

It's been about five years since he graduated, and all Dwayne has been doing was working part-time and playing basketball.

The 'all' here makes it sound like a bad thing - is that the aim? Or is it that he's happy spending his time doing these two things?

Dwayne knows he won't stop smiling any time soon.

Cute!!!

The thought of middle school sends a shiver through Alex and he nearly loses the ball. He wonders if his old teammates have forgotten him. He knows he'll never forget that year. Chris, Dwayne, Colin, Spencer. They were all unforgettable.

Do they ever keep in contact? I like the idea that they exchange messages, but super infrequently. I feel like they created a bond that year so it'd be nice if he had an awareness of what some of the others were up to.

I also think Alex's pov should be last - he's our main character after all and the one the story is named after. Maybe Alex could be the one to summarise all the characters in the countdown too?

Colin's excerpt saddened me a little. It doesn't really show how he's grown or what he's learned. I think perhaps leave him out as it doesn't really fit with the tone of the rest of the epilogue?

Overall though, I've really enjoyed the journey of this little team and it's been a fun story to read! Congrats on finishing - what an achievement!

Icy




yoshi says...


hey ice spice welcome back

and tanks for the review again <3

The 'all' here makes it sound like a bad thing - is that the aim? Or is it that he's happy spending his time doing these two things?


No, it wasn't really the intention to make it sound negative. he's definitely having fun

I also think Alex's pov should be last - he's our main character after all and the one the story is named after. Maybe Alex could be the one to summarise all the characters in the countdown too?


yeah euph said the same thing ;-; and now looking back, that does make more sense, but i really like the idea of like 'surprise, spencers an astronaut woaaaat'

Colin's excerpt saddened me a little. It doesn't really show how he's grown or what he's learned. I think perhaps leave him out as it doesn't really fit with the tone of the rest of the epilogue?


i was also thinking its more like, some people accomplish their dreams, but not everyone? like only alex actually ends up playing basketball professionally, and dwayne still kinda plays. the rest of them followed other careers, whether they liked it or not.

or maybe that's a little too realistic for this kind of story lol

anyway taaaaanks for the reviews icy <33333



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Fri Apr 07, 2023 10:46 pm
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Euphory says...



FINALLY REACHED THE EPILOGUE AND YOSH YOSH YOSH <3333 !!!!!!!!!! this is the most perfect ending you could've given EVER!?
aahhhhHHHHHHHH!!!?!?!?! i will not even mark this as a review, because I am purely TEXT DANCING OUT OF JOY AT THIS POINT OSJDKEKC
YOSH YOSH YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO, you have to bring in the thing about the concrete and the hardwood earlier on in the story (but maybe like in a different context idk???) ZAND THEN WHEN YOU MENTION IT HERE IT'LL BE LIKE CALLING BACK TO THAT AND IT'LL FEEL FULL CIRCLE
Also, it would feel more apt, I think, if you put Alex's POV at the very end of the chapter, so the last words of your story will be King Of The Court, just like the title, which would add that extra emotional IMPACT! But I also do see why you made Spencer's come last, because technically the way he summarises all the characters through the countdown is a pretty genius way to end a story, so really, either way is fine!
BITBJZIDJDOROOR BUT AHHHH <333333333 I'M SO PROUD OF YOU FOR PUSHING THROUGH WITH THE STORY, I'M SO PROUD OF OUR CLOWN BABIES, AND I'M SO HAPPY TO HAVE BEEN WITH YOU THROUGH THIS BASKETBALL JOURNEY <33333 thank you! <3




yoshi says...


AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH IM OVER HERE SCREAMING WITH YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE ON THIS JOURNEY WITH THESE LITTLE CLOWNS LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

on a serious note, yeah the concrete, hardwood thing is a pretty good and easy thing to mention earlier and the story, but honestly the epilogue is kinda supposed to be like an afterthought lol

yeah and also i struggled with who should go last LOL like every one of them is so precious they should ALL go last, but alas, i had to pick one. Alex gets enough fun tbh. He got the end of the last chapter, so Spencer should get theend of the epi

AHHAHHAHAHOUHFOWUPHC LIKJFBWMLK<NJC EBFLKJDCNHFBMILNKJN< ECgtuhkuygikfhvjfdgchfgDGDGDGDGDGGDGDggdDFfsDSFSFSFdsFDShfYUJH

-yosh




“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.”
— Khalid Hosseini, Author