A story of a heated fight over the WPGA basketball throne. Based on true events.
By: John Wang (grade 11)
Stepping into the WPGA gym in the early mornings, you’ll probably hear the loud thumps of basketballs bouncing on the ground. Focused and passionate, the members of our senior boys basketball team are already in their zone. The first person you will notice on the court is Johnny Huang. He is a hard working senior, who certainly plays a big part of the team. Whether it be at a game, practice, or a team meeting, he is always the first to arrive. Johnny’s hardwork and determination has shaped him into a hard-to-beat lockdown defender the team relies on. As his teammates put it, “Johnny is the backbone of our defence”.
Today, just like any other day, Johnny is hard at work practicing his skills. As he wipes his sweat, Johnny turns around when a teammate calls his name. Towering over him is the mighty Charlie Anthony. Standing at an impressive 6 foot 3 inches, Charlie is able to dunk with ease. He has great court vision, exceptional patience and an uncanny ability to cheer others up. Whenever his teammates are feeling down, he is sure to be there to lighten the mood. Charlie is an outstanding (get it?) player, both on and off the court.
As Charlie moves along the court, he towers over Johnny: demanding his support. Jason claims that he has outgrown Charlie and is attempting to take the crown as the tallest player on the team. “Stand back to back with him,” Johnny says to Jason. Jason Zhang is a distinguished individual who always has a smile on his face. As one of the only senior students on the team, he tries his best to create a cohesive environment. On the floor, Jason makes sure that every player stays on the same page. Off the floor, he is always there to encourage the other players and provide helpful advices for future games. Jason is also a very technical player. He can dribble, pass and shoot exceptionally well. When asked about his weakness, he simply responds, “I have none.”
Booming with confidence, Jason saunters up to Charlie and stands beside him. This is the moment that decides once and for all who is the taller player. After a thorough evaluation, Johnny decides that the results are inconclusive. “Why don’t you guys have a dunking competition?” suggests Harrison, “I think that’s a fair way to determine who can use their height for the better. Height doesn’t mean anything if you can’t use it.” Harrison Hunter-Walsh is the third and the last senior on the team. He is an absolute monster with the basketball. With his impressive strength and power, almost no defenders can keep him away from the net. Harrison is constantly showcasing his persistence. He is dedicated to working out and always attends practices. If anyone knows what hard work and dedication is, it’s Harrison.
“I like your thinking,” says Luca Comparelii, another scoring machine on the team. He is one of the most consistent starters on the team. Quick and strong, Luca is natural with the ball. He loves cutting in between and humiliating opposing defenders. His favourite thing to do is driving the ball into the basket. A multi talented player, Luca steps up whenever his team is in need of help. In fact, he is the current top scorer of the team! Mr. Garringer’s not-so-secret weapon, Luca is a flashy player who definitely impresses.
“Wow, a dunking competition,” exclaims Aneesh, “this has to be a joke right? I’ve never seen either of them dunk before.” Aneesh Varshney is a fun guy. Whether it be in the changerooms or during practices, he is sure to crack everyone up with his clever jokes and easygoing personality. But don’t underestimate him on the court. Aneesh is an absolute animal when he’s in his zone. A nimble and versatile baller, Aneesh aspires to become as good as his favourite player, Giannis Antetokounmpo who is known as the Greek Freak.
“I agree, neither one of us can dunk,” Charlie exclaims. Jason teases him, “You’re just saying that because you know you’re going to lose!” As they stand staring each other in the eyes vehemently, it seems that there’s no peaceful resolution to this conflict. In this most dire situation, Evan Daynard jumps out to save the day. He is someone who is loved by all of his teammates. You can easily recognize him by his signature bright smile. However, during games, Evan is a completely different person. Ruthless in attack and firm in defense, he is one of the most solid players you can ask for. His 6 foot 3 body gives him an edge over others at both winning rebounds and blocking shots. With extraordinary court vision and flawless passes, Evan is a team player who can always be relied upon. He calmly breaks the two “title contenders,” apart while suggesting another way: a free throw competition. His proposal is quickly approved by everyone, except for Terry.
Terry is an independent and carefree person. His movements are hard to track and no one knows where he’ll appear next. On some days, he’ll go to early morning practice and stay after school to hit the fitness center; on others, he’ll simply disappear for most of the day. For instance, one day, he showed up to practice with a whole pepperoni pizza from Domino’s because he “felt like getting it”. Don’t let his light hearted attitude fool you, Terry is a fully committed team player who acts as a super sub that has saved the day multiple times. As unpredictable as his sleep schedule, his playstyle on the courts often baffles even the most trained opponents. Terry believes that Charlie and Jason can both share the title, however, he is quickly overruled.
“Who wouldn’t want to watch a free throw competition?” Jonny says, “whoever scores more after ten shots is the winner!” Jonny Chang is an excellent player. Staying late to train after practices, Jonathan Chang’s attitude towards improving has shaped him into a diligent athlete with an indestructible spirit. Having a disadvantage in height, Jonny exercises frequently in order to give him an edge in speed. Today, Jonny tears apart his opponents’ defenses mercilessly as they watch him place the ball into the hoop time after time. Despite being this skillful, he never likes to show off and is known by his humble attitude. A tenacious fighter, Jonathan is one to watch out for on the floors.
Everyone is excited, including Mr. Garinger, the head coach of the basketball team. Charlie makes shot after shot. Soon he has made all ten while Jason anxiously waits. Now, it is his turn. Jason steps up and begins to shoot. The crowd watches nervously as he confidently scores one after another. One, two, three… seven, eight, nine… it’s all down to this last shot. Jason lowers his body, bends his arms, and launches the basketball towards the net. The ball hits the backboard, bounces back onto the rim. Time seems to slow down as everyone stares intensely at the basketball. The ball rolls around and around the rim. It goes around the rim once, twice, thrice and finally, it falls out. It is a glorious day for Charlie Anthony, he wins the shoot-out and celebrates as he is swarmed by the others. This time, everyone is celebrating, even Terry.