Light & Shadow #29

Among Giants — Pullman, Wa Circa 1980

I was never particularly interested nor adept in team sports. However, I did enjoy photographing them during my newspaper days. In particular, covering basketball games during the reign of coaches George Raveling at Washington State and Don Monson at the University of Idaho was exciting, even to me.

I will never forget the electrical charge created by 12,000 fans stomping along with We Will Rock You by Queen. Or my disbelief at how five players worked together as though they were one mind.

Maybe they were. The Universal Mind. The ‘All in all’ playing basketball with Itself. But I digress — that’s another topic.

Part of what makes this picture interesting is camera perspective, but Bryan Rison looks like he is driving to the hoop through giants. In a way, he was — as a point guard, he would be among the shortest players. I was shocked when standing next to him one day. He towered over me.

In 1986, a minuscule five-foot-seven-inch Spud Webb won the NBA slam dunk contest. Imagine that, a guy shorter than me able to out-dunk all dunkers. It was about that time I had an opportunity to try my hand at basketball.

Or, caveman ball as my neighbor called it. Mike was a middle school football coach back then, which might explain his moniker for the Friday night free-for-alls at the gym.

It was fun while it lasted, but my career ended with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Major surgery, ten weeks on crutches, and nearly a year of therapy convinced me of what I already knew.

I’m not adept at team sports.

4 thoughts on “Light & Shadow #29”

  1. Ah! Love the perspective of that photograph. The times I have caught a glimpse of a basketball game, I have been know to proclaim how well the ‘short’ player is doing, only to find out that player is 6’3″ or 4″ and the rest of the team is much taller. Still, the one thing I love to watch is the perfect choreography among 5 players on a team, protecting the ball and their path from being intersected by the 5 players on the opposing team, who are also in perfect choreographic synchronization.

    1. Practice makes perfect, right? I’m sure they practiced those plays, but I was still amazed at what I saw happen between players in a game that happens so quickly. Thanks for reading!

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