Brian was on his way from his house to go down to the playground basketball courts at the local junior high school. This had been a popular place to play basketball pickup games for the neighborhood kids for many years. He was a natural athlete and had very quick hands and feet. Not only did he have quick feet, but he was also very fast. He was able to move and react very quickly and move up and down the court with breath taking speed. His movements were cat-quick and he had no fear of leaping into the air or onto the ground chasing after loose balls.Toong-toong-toong was heard as he dribbled the basketball alongside him with his right hand. Every now and then the ball would bounce crazily off a stick or rock and Brian would have to quickly move his hands to gain control of the ball and continue dribbling. Brian also played at a church down at the end of the street that he lived on. The church had a backboard erected and setup in a dirt lot on the church’s property. The ground was uneven and there were several weeds and plants growing in the compacted dirt. Trying to dribble the ball on this “court” was very trying and demanding at times.
Little did he know that these trials were actually a form of drill or practice that would help him to better his ball-handling skills as time went by. His hands were very quick and this anticipation of the position and path of the ball helped him with his defensive skills as he was able to steal the ball from an opposing player who was in mid-dribble or who was trying to showboat. He had very good anticipation for when a player was about to pass the ball to a teammate. Brian was able to quickly move and sometimes intercept or deflect the ball.
Playing one-on-one on the playground, Brian practiced his turn-around jumper. He was able to quickly rock side to side with his back to the defensive player and could spin around and jump to either the right or left and still make the shot with the player all over him.
He practiced dribbling both right and left handed and driving to the hoop and doing layups with either hand.
The junior high school had a small weight room which he used,and as Brian’s body gained in strength, his shooting range and control increased. He was able to consistently make set shots and jumpers from long range. His vertical leap increased and coupled with his natural speed this made him a very dangerous player anytime he got the ball. He had phenomenal body control and many of his moves in the air as he drove to the hoop looked almost balletic in nature because he was so smooth.