Little Dribblers

The Little Dribblers’ basketball season began with a draft. Coaches who each had a list of second, third and fourth graders took turns picking names. I didn’t know many of the children, so I chose appealing names: Bobby Pico, Jazzie, Kent, Skipper, and Hunter. These were names that fairly delighted the tongue. Perhaps not a brilliant coaching strategy, but a fun one.

A few weeks before the season, I had been hired at the local middle school as the girls’ basketball coach. Even though the previous season had been near perfect in my mind, my job ended abruptly. The macho, first-year, all-knowing athletic director decided to “evaluate” coaches according to the number of wins during the season. Prior to this development, our meetings in his office consisted of me asking questions or demanding action while he rearranged piles of papers on his desk or turned his back to me and realigned books in the shelves.

When I asked him when he was planning to order uniforms for the girls, he sipped his coffee and grunted, “No time soon.” My lengthy speech on the problems of a troubled young female athlete was met with a muttered, “Time for her to grow up.” as he examined his fingernails. My excitement in the growth that girls were making on the court and in the classroom were answered with, “Just as long as we keep winning.”

Continued in Alaska Hoops . . . Buy your copy now!