Basketball is back is finally back! Technically, it’s been back for two months now, but I don’t usually like to count it until college basketball begins. Once I’ve watched my first Butler game, I can officially celebrate it fully!
I made this blog so I could have a safe place to basically unleash anything I thought was important to me, and I’ve had to really figure out if I wanted to do this post. Basketball being at the heart of it, but you will read some bittersweet things too. I just wanted to let it all go and this was the result.
I like to think how I got into college basketball has a happy storytelling; I feel like I was influenced spiritually by my papaw. I like to tell people who I think he was bored up in heaven and needed somebody to let him watch basketball, so he turned to me because I was the only one that could be open enough to actually watch it. After he died, my family hardly watch a IU or Butler, so when I started, I did like it but I certainly miss the fact that he’s not there watching it on his TV in the kitchen of their house.
I’d really like to say that I felt the most of guilt because of the fact that I never wanted to listen whenever my papaw attempted to teach me the positions and whatnot years ago, but unfortunately it’s not that at all. Although I still feel bad for not allowing him that opportunity, but I think he’d be proud on what I’ve been able to learn on my own and some things that my mom, knows more about basketball then she previously thought, so I think that would make him a happy camper! Basketball has even improve my math too, which kind of still freaks me out, but I’m okay with it.
I started watching college basketball in the 2016-17 season. I literally only had one team but then as the season went on, I did begin to watch some of the other teams in the Big East conference.
A year later, about a month before college basketball was to start I got some unexpected news. Well, it really wasn’t just me, it was the entire family that got the news. On October 22nd, was both a good and also a bittersweet day for me. I found out that I was going to be an aunt for the first time. Now you’re thinking, what could be bad about that? Well, my sister and brother-in-law had been married for about four months and they had basically told us that they were going to wait about 10 years before trying to have children. Selfishly, I was kind of happy about that decision. Here’s why.
As somebody who has a serve physical disability, you are left out on a lot of lifetime experiences. When we were asked in school what we wanted to be when we grew up, everybody had some realistic and sometimes outlandish careers picked out, but I’ve always wanted to be a wife and mother. I think this is because I was around my mom and my nana so much growing up that it’s also been a big interest to me. Honestly, I’ve never really told anybody this, because I didn’t want to pity, but I really want somebody to love me truly and I want to be pregnant, go through labor and delivery, change diapers, give baths, and just love on a small creature that I helped make of my own. So, the fact that this was happening to my sister was pretty devastating to me.
What’s weird about it is that I didn’t necessarily get this feelings when my cousin was pregnant back in 2016 (or when she got married a year later!), mostly because I think she lived somewhat far away and I didn’t really communicate a lot with her. So, her pregnancies have never made me feel sad, it was just my sister and in a way I understood the reasons behind it. So, after she announced to the world that she was pregnant, I remember feeling my heart sink a little, but once I realized that it had done that, I started to layer on the guilt of feeling like that.
Later that night, I thought if college basketball can help me get through my papaw’s death, I was hoping that maybe professional basketball could help me sort out my thoughts of the fact that I will eventually become an auntie, and not a mother myself.
The Definition Of Devotion
I’ll be honest, those nine months were a bitch. My sister had a somewhat complicated pregnancy, mostly with her pain and getting Gestational diabetes towards the end of it. She actually didn’t like being pregnant and she had some problems feeling confident in her own body as well about the prospect of becoming a mother to this small child. She was a mess, and I wasn’t much better.
For a whole month, I had decided to watch about four teams (Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, and Gold State Warriors) but I really didn’t enjoy them, I just watched them to get me out of my head. Every quiet moment had been awful. So many thoughts would come shooting at me from every angle, all of my bad memories would basically come at me hard and those four teams were part of my escape plan at night.
However, the week before the first Butler game was to come on TV, I had watched my first ever Houston Rockets game. They went up against Detroit Pistons and it is the only clear memory I have at that point of time. What I get from that means I probably didn’t watch the others as well as I did this game, because I was so mesmerized on the fact that on each side the players were hitting threes and I was dumbfounded. I’m still mad at myself for never finishing that game, but I was instantly hooked! And then about five days later, I watched my first Los Angeles Lakers game and again, I was just instantly stuck on these guys.
By the time college basketball was in full swing for the 2017-18 season, I had a total of 10 teams I was watching constantly, hell I would add both Oklahoma City Thunder and Philadelphia 76ers to the list, but not until after Christmas was over. I had a lot of basketball to not only keep me happy but also keep those negative thoughts at bay. It wouldn’t always work, but on the days I really needed it, the sport was there.
Out Of The Ashes
After the championship games were over, I was really worried about what I would do now. I had essentially four months to kill before my nephew would finally be here and I was left to my own devices again and I think that scared me more than anything. By the time, my mom had been told about everything going on with me, she tried her best to comfort me with a whole lot of hugs and wash rags for my nose because it really didn’t matter if it was daylight or not I would just break down.
I’ve never been on antidepressants before this, I feel like I probably should have been on something after I had graduated from high school, and again in 2011, but I was very hesitant about it because I didn’t want to rely on a small pill to help make me feel better, but honestly I had no other options left and I was finally put on my first dose a week after Baby Nolan was born. A part of me was a little mad that we had waited all this time and I started them while he just got here, because I think it would have helped me out a bunch to stop feeling so jealous.
I really love being an auntie to my nephew, which adds to the guilt that I’ve held so deep inside. I’ve never told Blondie or Brandon about all of this before. I could never find the words and I was always afraid they wouldn’t understand or would be angry with me for never saying anything about it (especially my sister), so if they do decide to read this post, I just want to say, I did not plan on this. nobody really does but now that Nolan’s here, I love him dearly and I would do anything for him because I know he’s going to look up to me. He is already learning things that I’ve done in front of him like getting a drink out of my cup. He’s been recorded reaching for his mommy’s frappe once so I’ve already been teaching this little man without really trying and I get so much joy out of being around him. His toothless smiles are intoxicating and I really can’t get enough of it!
Who Am I Watching This Season?
Over the summer, I did something that I never thought I’d ever do. I watched the NBA Draft, NBA Awards and Summer League. Yeah, even my dad was shocked! I mainly watched the Draft because I knew that Villanova was losing four of their best players on the team and I just wanted to know where they were going, so with that being said I now watch the Milwaukee Bucks because that’s where Donte DiVincenzo is playing now. Just for an extra bonus, one of the reasons why I even liked watching the Lakers, Brook Lopez was traded there. I wasn’t originally happy about that piece of news, but I like seeing both of them on the same team now.
When professional basketball started in early October, I had made the decision to cut down on the amount of teams for this season. Since I am increasingly learning more about it in general, I wanted to shrink the list or switch out teams as much as possible. The only one I watch from the original “back up” lineup is the Boston Celtics. I mainly wanted to keep them because I have a “few” favorite players: Jayson Tatum, Aron Hayes, Al Halford (who I tend to get confused with Eric Gordon!), and Gordon Hayward. My dad thinks I like them because their coach Brad Stevens, who is a former head coach of Butler Bulldogs – it’s not true!
When the previous season was dwindling down and LA Lakers weren’t in the playoffs, I had temporary traded them with the 76ers. I really like Joel Embiid and JJ Redick a lot. Ben Simmons isn’t that bad, but he did not deserve that “Rookie Of The Year” award. I can’t wait to see how many other “rookie” players will try to say that in the future. The 76ers is a team that I frequently watch now, but since I’ve only seen probably 8 games total, I don’t have that many thoughts about them yet. Key word: yet.
And finally, I am still watching both the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers. This summer was pretty interesting, I literally watched the NBA Awards in hopes that James Harden would win MVP. I decided to watch that live, but taped it because I’m not an idiot, I fell asleep in the middle of it, so that morning my mom knew who had won but I made her promise not to tell me because I wanted to watch it. I was so happy, but unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to get too excited because my dad was asleep in the next room and I didn’t feel like scaring the crap out of him! I also had started following Bleacher Report on Twitter to find out of the different players who were being traded to other teams, and when I saw that Trevor Arzia had signed to Phoenix Suns, I was a bit sad but nothing compared to the nervousness I had at the possibility that Clint Capella could be leaving. Oh my gosh! The day it was announced to resigning with the Rockets was the best! When I saw that, everybody was awake so I was allowed to scream, I was so happy!
Another trade I was upset about, was when Julius Randle left. He was the second person to get me into the Lakers, so the fact that I was now down two out of three was nerve-wrecking. And then on top of that the whole world found out that LeBron James was becoming a Laker. For most people, especially everybody in LA alone, was ecstatic! I was not. It’s shocking that parents, coaches, hell even teachers tell kids everyday that there’s no “I” in team and yet whenever LeBron goes on a team, he’s #1 and everybody else is just a shadow behind him. The reason why I wasn’t thrilled about this, is because I liked the fact that it was the team of youngsters. You have Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart that are all under the age of 25 and they all have real potential to lead a team, and yet now the spotlight doesn’t really shine on them as much anymore.
If you’re wondering about who the final player that got me interested in this team was Ingram, so imagine my face when he shoved James Harden on their first game of the new season. Yeah, I was actually enjoying it until that happened and all hell broke loose afterwards. My heart hurt as it was happening and I was glad that I had recorded the game instead of watching it live or I would have probably been in tears. If you’re reading this part, and assuming that the only reason why I could have done that because I have a crush on Ingram, Harden or any other of the players, you obviously didn’t read the post all the way through.
As far as college basketball goes, I am still and probably always going to watch Butler. Although, I am going to have to get a new shirt as I’ve officially outgrown it. Nolan has finally worn his Butler onesie already, but whether or not he can fit into is debatable, so it might be time for the both of us to get new outfits! And I will watch both Xavier and Villanova every once in a while; I actually don’t care to watch Nova during the Big East conferences, because they are really my team’s enemy. I admire them and practically know everybody’s names and numbers now, but I know better to root for anybody that could make them lose a game!
I feel the need to apologize for the long post, but there was a lot to get out and I thought it would be better to get everything out in one go, so the fact that I’m over 2,000+ words was definitely not planned by any means! I would like to say that if you have read the whole thing, kudos to you for getting through it. Now that everything is out in the open, maybe I can just enjoy being an auntie and watching basketball in all forms! 🙂