No Ball Like a Basket
Basketball has always been a buddy of mine. From winning my school, town, and county’s National Elks Free Throw Contests in 4th grade… to being a point guard in 5th through 8th grades in my town’s Parks & Recreation League (in which my dad was my coach one year)… to practicing basketball on the weekends with Bec and my dad… to rocking my puffy Chicago Bulls Starter winter jacket… to watching Joe Smith highlights on ESPN while getting ready for school (not knowing that I’d eventually go to his alma mater- the University of Maryland)… to watching college basketball championships won on TV with my dad… to racing out into my quad when we (Maryland) beat Duke my college freshman year and running around campus celebrating… to camping out for basketball tickets that same naive year for the Kentucky University game when we didn’t have to (we really wanted tickets and didn’t realize that other than the 15 of us who were camping out, no one else was)… to dancing with the basketball players in fraternity basements… to reaching the Final 4 my sophomore year… to camping out for the Duke games and taking a photo with Coach Gary Williams and later realizing my camera didn’t have film in it… to sitting in the stands of the last ever game played at the historical Cole Field House before sitting in the new Comcast Center… to cheering on Maryland in the Elite 8 during Spring Break in Acapulco with 20 of my sorority sisters at Hooters while the chefs banged pots and pans for us in victory… to watching us win the 2002 National Championship my junior year… to going to the Championship Celebration and watching the players cut down the basketball nets… to seeing the players at my sorority house and dated parties… to having one of the players tell me that I must have money because I dress so well (a nod to the fruits of my part-time job)… to watching Maryland post-graduation win more ACC titles, more Duke rivalry games, and more wins against #1 teams to make Gary lead all active coaches in that distinction with six victories… this is one buddy I’ll always have by my side.
My love for the game translated to spending Saturday watching the Final 4 games in my bathrobe and led to a debate with myself on whether to go out afterward to a birthday party at the W Hotel in Hollywood where the birthday boy had rented out the patio. I had pondered on Twitter to which @gblyss @omjeanne @SarahDeThomasis all said I should go so I shimmied into my new reversible, geography-friendly Seneca Rising dress that looks like two pieces but is one, threw my hair up in a bun, and quickly put on makeup. Bec took these photos as I was leaving and I’m glad I went in what was a well-received dress.
Tonight is the Men’s Basketball NCAA Championship Game and without fail, I’ll be inserted back into the college basketball era I described above every time the camera pans to a student in the cheering section. I see the same hope in these kids’ eyes and the same excitement in their fist pumps when a three-point basket gets nothing but net- they’re the same emotions I felt for a team I loved. I’ll always be grateful to have gone to Maryland when we won the National Championship title- our first- and I’m looking forward to seeing the Butler Bulldogs do the same tonight.
P.S.- I wanted to remind you to RSVP to my SLUMBER PARTY and to submit your photos! The details are below-
Who: You- because you’ve made it to Wrecked Stellar- which means you’re pretty fabulous and exclusive already. I’m also free-loving!
When: Saturday, April 24th, at 8pm
Where: Virtually at my Los Angeles pad
Why: Because you don’t want to see me sitting with several bowls of popcorn watching 16 Candles by myself- (though I totally would do that anyway)!
Activities: Barbecuing on one balcony, pretending the other balcony is a stage and dancing to the likes of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Livin’ on a Prayer”, TP’ing fraternity houses at UCLA, soaking it up in a water balloon fight, playing “Never Have I”, swooning over Jake in 16 Candles wearing our mud masks, and falling asleep tucked away in our sleeping bags with the fun moments from the night tucked away in our memories.
Attire: Pajamas- whatever form they come in for you.
How: E-mail a photo of yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org in your attire in whatever environment and capacity you want. You’re my guest so it’s up to you! I will post all of my guests’ photos and blog links (if you have one) in my April 24th post so that everyone can share in our party fun!
RSVP: I set the date in April so that you’d have enough time to clear your calendar, think of a cute pajama outfit, and take your photo! Please RSVP in the Comments section by April 21st so I can buy enough food for everyone. I will be sending reminders out in future posts, but I’m sure you won’t need a reminder because you’ll all want to come! xoxo