My sister (a different one — she’s 17 and doing dual enrollment at the local community college to finish up her last year of high school via homeschooling and will start college on the east coast this coming fall) was supposed to go to prom this past weekend, but everything went terribly wrong.
But, those years in those gyms and those courts and on those teams and in those leagues also taught me how to recognize a blowhard and a bully. And my distaste and disdain for men like him equals the affinity I have for the Black basketball dad.
I knew men like him, and they are the worst coaches to play for, the worst parents to sit in the stands with, and they very often produce the worst kids to play with and root for.
Like my dad and the countless other Black basketball dads out there, he wants whats best for his sons. My dad’s goal was for me to receive a college basketball scholarship. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit to the strain of schadenfreude I experience when a Black person challenges and perhaps even upsets the status quo the way La Var Ball currently is attempting to.
I’m compelled to root for him even if I don’t agree with his methods (I don’t) or even like him very much (I also don’t).
I appreciate what he’s done for his kids, and I get what he’s trying to do, but I don’t fuck with dude at all.
I want him to succeed, in theory, but I don’t want him to be him.
The basketball magazines and almanacs he’d buy me when I professed at interest in devouring as much about the game and its history as I could.
The mornings I’d watch him play in the Sunday Morning Warriors basketball league at the Y, where I’d sneak on the court at halftime to shoot foul shots.
And not just my dad, but the countless other Black basketball dads found on bleachers at AAU tournaments and modeling perfect triple threat stances on concrete blacktops in the hood.
Shepherding their sons (and sometimes daughters) from court to court and neighborhood to neighborhood.
(To his credit, he hadn’t seen me play yet, and undoubtedly would have been more lenient if he had. The next day, he showed up to the school during lunch time, pulled me out of the cafeteria, and requested a meeting with Mr.