me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Courtside thrills

I know I've been whining about being sick, but that doesn't mean I didn't go play basketball last night. I'm a big believer in sweat as a cure-all. Monday nights we rent the gym at Bishop Ford, a Catholic High School in Brooklyn. It's a good gym and unlike some of the public high school gyms we've rented through the years, we feel welcome there. The drawback to Bishop Ford is, during the basketball season we have to shift back an hour because they have practice after school; and when they have a game, we start even later. Usually that only happens a couple of times during their season, and we rent the gym all year, so it's not a real hardship.

Last night was one of those nights. We started really late, close to an hour, but it was worth it. We're supposed to begin at 8, but when I got there about a quarter of, the gym was crowded, noisy, and high-voltage. A girls' varsity game was in its fourth quarter, Bishop Ford vs. Christ the King. Christ the King is a famous basketball school; Sue Bird and Chamique Holdsclaw came out of the women's program. When I got there Bishop Ford was ahead, but not by much. Both teams were playing a very fast, high-intensity game. The stands were full -- the entire Bishop Ford boys' team was there -- and people were on the sidelines, chewing their fingernails. You have to understand, usually when I get to this gym, it's a ghosttown. The floor eventually fills with 12 or 14 of us and that's it. But the place was rocking.

Great drama at the end of the quarter, and, all tied up, the game went into overtime. Up until last night, Christ the King hadn't lost a conference game in years and years and years. And pow! They did! Bishop Ford -- my team, what can I say, I play on their turf -- beat them in overtime, and by nine points! Bedlam erupted, fans everywhere. Hugging, chest-bumping, back-thumping. Coaches looking calmly pleased, as if this were nothing more than what they'd expected, though in coach language you could tell they were ecstatic. We were worried the fans would tear down the nets, which would be a drag for us, but eventually they subsided, went home, and we took the court. In a deserted gym, which suits us just fine.

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