I was 8 years old when my parents — both graduate students from India — moved from married student housing to a little home in Raleigh, N.C., with a basketball hoop in the backyard. Even as an immigrant from South Asia, I knew what that hoop meant.
Basketball is a religion in North Carolina, and I quickly became a disciple. When I was 11, the N.C. State Wolfpack won the N.C.A.A. championship in heart-stopping fashion. I still remember my dad taking me to the center of campus for the midnight celebration and being transfixed by the sheer size and emotion of it.
My love for the game soon became an obsession. I taught myself to shoot in the backyard and played against the neighborhood kids. I learned to make up for my disadvantages on the court — both real (I’m definitely undersized) and perceived (no one expected a short Indian kid to be any good) — through hustle and perfecting a low left-handed heave that I used whenever I could beat my man into the lane.
My crowning achievement came in the final seconds of a Little League championship game, when I went to the free-throw line with my team down a point. Both shots clanked around the rim but went in.
In college, watching the sport became equally addictive — especially now that I was at UNC-Chapel Hill. My senior year, the Tar Heels won their fourth N.C.A.A. Championship.
Now, at age 47, I am a New York City dad who watches Carolina basketball obsessively with his three sons and who, after a 15 year hiatus (thanks to a couple of knee surgeries) decided to play pickup again. But on the court recently, I came to a shocking realization.
My ugly but effective left-handed heave was no longer effective. I had become the player in the pickup game who everyone leaves open from a distance.
Call it ego, but I really didn’t want to be that guy. So I turned to the only expert I knew — my 10-year-old son’s basketball coach.
Macky Bergman, 35, runs Steady Buckets, a nonprofit that teaches more than 1,000 boys and girls from around the city. Coach Macky, as everyone calls him, is a product of New York City basketball — he was a star player at Bronx Science and played four years at the University of Rochester. He assured me that anyone could learn to shoot if they put the time in.
But could a middle-aged, undersized father of three really remake his jump shot and become a solid pickup basketball player again?
Coach Macky and I met in early October on a typical outdoor court — fenced-in blacktop, metal backboards, rims with no nets — on Second Avenue and 19th Street. It was 8 a.m. on a weekday, so the place was vacant, except for a grousing tenant who lived near the court and asked us to practice as far away from his home as possible. This somewhat safe space meant I could relax a little, although the pressure was still on, as both Macky and the Times photographer, sent to track my progress, were both former college players.
We began with a shooting test: a series of midrange and 3-point jumpers while moving between five spots on the court. I did this 10 times, shooting 10 free throws after each round. By the end I was drenched in sweat.
The results weren’t great — 62 percent from the free-throw line, 49 percent on 2-point jumpers and an abysmal 30 percent from the 3-point line. As for my self-taught shooting technique, which even my son, Kavi, had described as “pretty ugly,” Coach Macky decided we would have to start over from scratch.
In our first few sessions, we set about erasing the muscle memory of 1983 to develop proper form. We started as close to the basket as possible — almost directly under the rim.
The ball was to be perched just above my eyes, on the fingertips of my left hand, directly underneath the right angle at the bend of my elbow. My guide hand would hold the right side of the ball.
For my lower body: knees bent, feet shoulder-width apart, weight on the balls of my feet. Then I was to push the ball up — not out — release and follow through, fingers pointed down.
“On the follow-through, Kobe sometimes joins his thumb and index finger, and his guide hand points at the basket,” Macky would say. “Steph Curry’s guide hand flips out and his arms come together.”
The more shots I took — the goal was 100 baskets in a row — the more I could feel myself adapting. Set, shoot, follow-through. Take one step forward and catch the ball as it comes through the net. Repeat. It was surprisingly meditative. Before I knew it, I had made it all the way to 88 shots in a row.
But Macky had identified some weaknesses.
For one, I was landing with one leg practically a foot in front of the other. Macky had me stick a soccer ball between my legs and practice a series of jump shots while squeezing it between my knees.
This was surprisingly hard — either I’d brick the shot, or the soccer ball would pop out — until I focused on taking really small jumps, landing like I was on train tracks. Kavi even sort of complimented me, calling this an “advanced drill” that only the teenagers do.
Coach Macky encouraged me to attend his weekly shooting clinic at a high school on the Lower East Side with about two dozen of his other students. They were all between 8 and 14 years old, including my son.
I tried to blend in by standing with the coaches. That didn’t last long. When Macky assigned me to work with one of them, Torrence Ested, the first thing Coach Torrence said to me was, “I got you old man.”
When I asked Kavi who he thought was more embarrassed by the whole venture — me or him — his vague reply spoke volumes. “Tough to say,” he responded.
For the final lessons, Coach Macky moved me out to the 3-point line. I’d never been comfortable shooting the three. Because my old jump shot was a heave that began at the chest, it was all arms and no legs.
As it turned out, I’d been learning how to be a better 3-point shooter all along. Proper technique and good arc make for a more accurate shot, regardless of distance.
The difference was clear in my final set of drills. I shot above 70 percent from the free throw line, 65 percent on my two pointers, and a remarkably improved 55 percent from 3-point range.
But improving my stats was never really the point. I’ve started hooping again at the McBurney YMCA on West 14th Street and reconnecting with the sport I’ve loved since I was a kid practicing in the backyard. My jumper is still a work in progress, but I’m not being left wide open on it anymore.
At a recent pickup session — with adults, this time — I was shooting for the last spot in the next game and was matched against the best shooter in our group. We both made our first two free throws, but on the third shot his bounced out. Mine found the bottom of the net.
Not quite the Little League championship game, but I’ll take it.B:
【陆】【嘉】【舟】【没】【指】【望】【他】【能】【拿】【下】，【懒】【散】【地】【给】【自】【己】【点】【了】【一】【根】，【也】【不】【知】【道】【有】【没】【有】【听】【进】【去】，【独】【自】【吞】【云】【吐】【雾】： “【嘘】。” 【高】【怀】【廷】【明】【明】【不】【是】【保】【守】【的】【人】，【此】【时】【也】【蓦】【然】【有】【种】【恨】【铁】【不】【成】【钢】，【恨】【不】【得】【亲】【手】【掐】【灭】【了】【他】【的】【烟】，【但】【和】【陆】【嘉】【舟】【多】【年】【的】【默】【契】，【高】【怀】【廷】【皮】【笑】【肉】【不】【笑】【地】【瞄】【了】【他】【一】【眼】。 “【咚】【咚】。”【门】【外】【响】【起】【敲】【门】【声】，“【陆】【少】，【你】【要】【的】【酒】【来】【了】。
【刘】【天】【心】【这】【人】【他】【是】【从】【来】【不】【相】【信】【动】【漫】【里】【边】【那】【种】【谁】【先】【开】【大】【谁】【就】【输】【的】【定】【律】【的】，【他】【信】【奉】【的】【是】【你】【不】【先】【开】【大】【死】【了】【之】【后】【就】【没】【机】【会】【开】【了】。 【所】【以】【说】【在】【决】【定】【了】【消】【灭】【黑】【王】【尼】【德】【霍】【格】【的】【时】【候】，【刘】【天】【心】【就】【丝】【毫】【没】【有】【迟】【疑】【的】【开】【了】【自】【己】【最】【强】【的】【一】【招】，【把】【黑】【洞】【丢】【了】【出】【去】。 【顺】【便】【说】【一】【下】，【刘】【天】【心】【现】【在】【是】【能】【看】【得】【懂】【龙】【脸】【上】【的】【表】【情】【的】，【毕】【竟】【换】【做】【谁】【如】【果】【真】【的】【有】
【就】【这】【样】，【在】【这】【样】【一】【番】【天】【惊】【地】【动】【的】【景】【象】【中】，【撒】【旦】【的】“【罗】【刹】【斩】”【被】【爱】【新】【觉】【罗】·【弘】【历】【的】【剑】【气】【彻】【底】【剿】【灭】【了】，【不】【过】【受】【到】【狂】【暴】【能】【量】【余】【波】【的】【冲】【击】，【弘】【历】【的】【身】【影】【也】【好】【像】【狂】【风】【暴】【雨】【中】【的】【扁】【舟】，【鬼】【魅】【般】【的】【后】【退】。 “【这】【种】【实】【力】，【看】【来】【有】【点】【小】【瞧】【你】【了】！” 【刚】【才】【那】【一】【击】，【已】【经】【是】【他】【目】【前】【掌】【握】【技】【能】【中】【威】【力】【比】【较】【强】【大】【的】，【就】【这】【样】，【他】【刚】【才】【全】【力】【爆】【发】丶七星彩高手论坛交流【虚】【无】，【只】【有】【黑】【暗】【存】【在】【的】【虚】【无】。 【我】【以】【为】【这】【样】【的】【状】【况】【还】【要】【持】【续】【更】【长】【的】【时】【间】，【却】【在】【某】【天】【的】【某】【个】【时】【候】，【微】【弱】【的】【星】【芒】【出】【现】【在】【我】【的】【精】【神】【世】【界】【里】。【先】【是】【微】【弱】【的】【一】【小】【点】，【像】【随】【时】【都】【会】【熄】【灭】【的】【烛】【光】，【接】【着】，【便】【是】****【的】【成】【群】【出】【现】。 【白】【色】【的】【光】【灵】【力】，【碧】【色】【的】【木】【灵】【力】，【蓝】【色】【的】【水】【灵】【力】，【褐】【色】【的】【土】【灵】【力】……【世】【界】【不】【再】【是】【漆】【黑】【一】【片】，【我】【被】
【观】【世】【音】【从】【南】【海】【来】，【用】【杨】【柳】【枝】【和】【玉】【净】【瓶】【将】【人】【参】【果】【树】【成】【功】【救】【活】。【镇】【元】【大】【仙】【表】【示】【感】【谢】，【特】【意】【宴】【请】【在】【座】【的】【各】【路】【神】【仙】。【一】【顿】【交】【流】【之】【后】，【莫】【问】【便】【起】【身】【告】【辞】【了】。 【他】【是】【来】【凑】【热】【闹】【的】，【凑】【完】【热】【闹】【以】【后】，【自】【然】【是】【要】【回】【去】【了】。 【镇】【元】【大】【仙】【出】【来】【和】【他】【叨】【扰】【很】【久】，【之】【后】【目】【送】【着】【他】【离】【开】。 【回】【到】【华】【山】【后】，【莫】【问】【便】【笑】【着】【对】【一】【脸】【意】【犹】【未】【尽】【的】【莫】【芦】【和】【莫】
“【有】【什】【么】【事】，【小】【姐】【信】【不】【过】【别】【人】，【还】【信】【不】【过】【画】【眉】【吗】？”【画】【眉】【将】【秦】【楚】【音】【搂】【在】【自】【己】【的】【肩】【头】：“【我】【五】【岁】【就】【跟】【着】【小】【姐】【了】，【说】【是】【看】【着】【小】【姐】【长】【大】【的】【也】【不】【为】【过】。” 【画】【眉】【今】【年】【二】【十】【有】【三】，【按】【年】【龄】【早】【该】【嫁】【了】，【只】【是】【她】【舍】【不】【得】【小】【姐】，【这】【才】【拖】【到】【的】【了】【如】【今】【的】【岁】【数】。 【原】【本】【今】【年】【冬】【天】【家】【里】【已】【经】【给】【她】【相】【看】【好】【了】【人】【家】，【是】【个】【比】【她】【小】【三】【岁】【的】【卖】【货】【郎】，【相】
【苗】【香】【草】【听】【到】【了】【范】【佳】【佳】【的】【房】【子】【倒】【了】，【连】【忙】【过】【去】【看】，【谁】【知】【道】【踩】【到】【了】【石】【头】【上】，【直】【接】【倒】【在】【了】【地】【上】。 【全】【剧】【终】。 【抱】【歉】【坑】【了】【大】【家】，【以】【后】【也】【不】【会】【继】【续】【写】【文】【了】【再】【写】【文】【也】【不】【能】【写】【年】【代】【文】，【真】【是】【太】【难】【了】【啊】，【不】【是】【那】【个】【年】【代】【的】【人】，【不】【知】【道】【物】【价】，【不】【知】【道】【大】【家】【要】【怎】【么】【相】【处】，【告】【辞】【了】，【能】【看】【到】【这】【的】【是】【真】【爱】【了】，【不】【过】【我】【要】【辜】【负】【你】【这】【个】【真】【爱】【了】，【下】【面】