Thursday, September 9, 2010
I do not know how much time I spent on playing Basketball (or maybe I should say on learning to play Basketball) during my three years of Junior High School. That is because I do not know how much spare time we had during these years. But I am pretty sure that 90% of my spare time was spent playing with the ball. To say that I liked to play b-ball is to way underestimate the importance of b-ball in my life, as B-ball WAS my life during those three years. I remember that during some weekends I was on the Taida courts (which were very close to our home) for a solid twelve hours. We ate meals and drank many kinds of liquids next to or very near to our beloved courts. Yes, my Mother always tried to ask me not to drink the liquids sold near the courts, but when you are so thirsty after the game, you do not seem to remember Mother's advice any more. Coco cola was not one of our choices of sweet liquids. It was out of our price range. We drank tea, sour-plum drink, grass-jelly-ice drink and some local bottled carbonated sugar water.
That Basketball became my life's passion started during those years. Reality (b-ball could not be my life forever) finally came literally at the end of my Junior High School days. It came right after a celebration b-ball game played, after our graduation, between the teacher-team and student-team. It was full of fun, as the referee was joking around to make sure our teachers would get their favorable breaks allowing them to win the game. After the game, I was still continuing to play around with some teachers. I remembered that when I was trying to block a shot, I fell on the concrete ground with my right arm first. When I got up, my right arm was broken; the tip of my right arm joint was cracked. I was told that the cast on my right arm would be there for the next three months or more. This accident happened in June, 1954, I believe. The Senior High School entrance exams were in August. I do not know if this accident was a blessing or a curse in my life. The blessing part was that I could no longer go out to play basketball that summer; I had plenty of time to study for the entrance examinations. The curse part was that my hands were so sore when I took those entrance exams, I could not write fast enough to finish all my exam papers. Yes, I did get into a good High school in Taipei later. But my right arm was never able to stretch straight again. The cracks grew back together fine!