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A Basketball Milestone

Any basketball-enthusiast child has probably shot baskets in the driveway or at the local park pretending to be his or her favorite player. (And for some of us, reaching adulthood hasn’t been a mandate to stop doing this). Last night, my two year old participated in this hoop junkie rite of passage.

A couple of months after his first birthday, I bought him a Lil’ Tikes basketball set. When we opened it, he could barely dunk the ball on the lowest hoop setting. Now, at almost two and a half and with lots of practice, the hoop has been raised a couple of notches and he is able to throw the ball in from a short distance rather than just dunking. When he makes it in we cheer and high five, and when he misses, apparently a lot of the time I say “aww, man”, which I didn’t realize I was doing until he started mimicking me. We have also started to share the ball a little, passing back and fourth and taking turns shooting. After a few minutes, he goes on to something else, like his firetruck or bus.

In parallel, we have also watched the Celtics a fair amount this season. Being away from Boston, I usually try to take advantage of times when the C’s are on national TV if I can. RJ doesn’t have nearly the attention span to follow a game, but he does so in spurts, and during these times I point out the key players to him..KG, Rondo,the truth, Green, Bass, etc. He seems to have taken a primary affinity to KG, and my only guess why is that it’s an easy two-letter nickname. I also think he likes “Green” (i.e. Jeff Green) because it not only refers to a person but also the color of the uniforms. It’s not the most basketball-sound reasoning for picking favorites, but at age two it makes sense.

So fast forward to last night when he and I were playing with the ball and hoop, and I happened to be wearing a Celtics t-shirt. Instinctively, without any cue from me at all or any past times of doing this, RJ exclaimed “I’m KG!!!”. I asked him who I was, and he said “you’re Green!”. We continued playing, passing the ball back and fourth to each other, shooting, and rebounding as Kevin Garnett and Jeff Green. The moment lasted only a few minutes, but I will remember it forever.

  1. March 19, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    My daughter is the same way about the Knicks and basketball. She throws the ball in the hoop, she tries to dribble, and of course wants to be picked up to slam it in the hoop on my nephew’s door. When the Knicks are on tv, she yells “Oh!” at the tv like I do as well as yells “Basketball! “

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