Opening the doors of the gym court, I peer inside to see if there's too much competition this year.
Yep. Crowded as always.
Not that I'm some scaredy-cat. I actually love crowded courts. It means more rivals.
It's my third year in Westview high. I'm a junior now. I waited for 2 years so I could train myself enough to get into this school's team.
Westview high school had been ranked in the top 5% of the most challenging schools to get into.
But I somehow did.
All so I could be a part of the girls' basketball team. The Minnesota Hawkettes. The best female basketball ball team in the prefecture. If I needed to fulfill my dream of being the best, then I had to be with the best.
As I make my way to the center, where the majority of the newbies had gathered, I notice the gazes that are thrown towards me.
Some ignore me altogether. While a couple of girls whisper with each other as to what a toddler is doing in court.
I don't give a fuck to what they're thinking, of whispering or whatnot.
I take off my baggy pants. I'm already wearing my sports shorts inside, in case your thinking I'm stripping. I bend down to tie my shoelace.
I really should get myself a pair of new running shoes. Mines in the brink of falling apart.
I've been wearing these for over 3 years. I hate Changing shoes. It throws me off rhythm when I play with new ones. But this thing really needs to rest. I've made the most use out of these babies.
I wonder if dad will get me a pair? Or perhaps I'll get them with my allowance and savings.
I'd made sure I kept well away from the court for the past two years, so I wouldn't be tempted to try out, therefore I simply had no idea who the players are as I look around the place full of unfamiliar faces. None from any of my classes were present.
Guess they're too pretty to break a nail.
I leave my bag by the benches and come stand in a line with a bunch of other girls who practically towered over me.
Some of the snotty brats snicker as they peer over at me.
Yes, I'm only five feet. But does height decide what you're to be best in?
So bitch off while I rock this gym court.
That's what I thought as the coach walks into the gym with a teacher or whoever it is that is walking beside her.
"Is this all?" The coach's voice booms in the silent gym.
Is this all!?
There's like a freaking 30 girls trying out for the team. And she expects more?
The coach asks us to form a circle of five and we follow her command.
Her gaze lingers on me for a minute too long. A dissatisfied look grazes upon her stoic expression.
I've always earned a disappointed look from everyone who realizes I'm in their team. They always quarrel with each other as to what I'm even doing in a game of basketball.
The coach's gaze was pissing me off.
I have a very strong urge to slap it off her face but then I keep myself calm. Doing so would get me nowhere.
This is my only chance of trying out for the team. And I need to be in good shoes to be accepted. Not a violent monkey girl.
Perhaps the big lady wanted to get plenty of girls to drop out quickly. Which is why she asked us to start off with shooting.
Usually, you start with warmups. It increases our ability to perform better. But no, this darn coach had other plans.
Thank goodness I run every morning for an hour and do push-ups. That's enough warmups to last me till I get back home for my evening workouts.
She blew her whistle and everyone formed a straight line in front of the hoop.
Why the hell did she ask us to form circles then?
I was squashed in between two giant girls who made it even more difficult for me by shoving me.
"Do that once more and I won't guarantee the safety of your puny feet." I hiss under my breath just so the one behind could hear.
I bet she got my menacing tone, cause she quickly backed off.
I brushed off my disadvantage in height with my sassy personality.
The line gets shorter as the girl's shoot the ball one by one and leave.
The coach doesn't even give a second chance. You shoot your in. You don't? Well then leave the court.
How did this school be the best in women's basketball when the coach was this bitchy?
The ball was passed to me by a girl with bright Auburn hair pulled back in a ponytail. She gave me a soft smile and then waited for me to shoot.
I'm so being her partner if she's in the team as well.
It's not new, standing in front of a super high hoop. I've been standing in front of this beast ever since I was six.
Back then it terrified me. But now, it motivated me to fly to greater heights.
I was small for my age. I don't think you'll come across many seventeen-year-olds who's only five feet in height.
And wanting to play basketball with such a height? Yeah, people thought I was effing insane.
I can't dunk. I don't think I'll ever be able to do such a magnificent move.
But I've been perfecting my shooting skills. I've been training my body, my arms, my wrist to play along with the ball so I could shoot the ball into the hoop without a sweat.
So if this dumb coach thinks she could throw me out by having us shoot balls. Then she's dead wrong.
Because shooting is what I'm best at.
I square my shoulders to the basket and place my feet apart. With my knees bent slightly and back leaning towards the basket, I put the fingers of my shooting hand under the ball and tuck in my elbows close to my body.
I flick my wrist towards the hoop and release the ball, my index finger slightly grazing the ball as if saying a final "goodbye"
The ball didn't even touch the rim.
A perfect shot, just as planned.
The Auburn haired girl grabs the falling ball and gives me an excited nod. I nod back and go stand in line with the rest of the girls who had done well in shooting. I didn't wait for the coach to ask me to go to the line.
I didn't need her to tell me.
When I look up at the face of the lady who was going to train me for the two years of my high school life, I find her giving me an approving look. She nods at me firmly and blows the whistle for the next girl to go up.
That's all I need. That's all I'll ever need.
After so much difficulty, I've finally gotten myself into Minnesota's best high school girl's basketball ball team.
The coach kept talking about something but I zoned out. I couldn't wait to tell my best friend I'd gotten in.
Not that she didn't expect it. She sent me off saying she'll wait for me to treat her to doughnuts.
Someone clears their throat and that brings me back to my senses.
Oh, it's just the coach.
Trouble on the first day!
I straighten up when she looks down at me. She's not even that tall, but her bulky form makes her seem huge.
"Have you played basketball ball before?" The coach asks, directing each word to me. The Auburn haired girl stood beside her.
"Not on the court. No."
"But you have played?" She asks when she got what I meant.
"Street basketball ball. In my neighborhood and well any neighborhood that has kids playing, you'll find me there."
I've been playing street basketball ever since I was six when I had always been left alone at home.
It started with just passing time until dad came back home, but then it became my routine and soon I was barely home.
Dad used to come and drag back a snotty, trashing brat. Aka me.
"You've got a good form when shooting." It was the Auburn girl who spoke.
Of course, the coach would die rather than compliment I guess.
"Thanks." I even give the girl a toothy grin. "With my height, it's not like I can be a defender or a dunker. So I polished my shooting skills. Pretty whack huh." I say with a smirk.
The girl chuckles at my confidence.
"My name is Señora. I'm the Captain." She says and I drop my jaws open.
Damn... I did not expect that.
If she's the Captain, then she must be pretty awesome herself in basketball.
"And I thought she'd be my partner," I mutter under my breath.
Señora heard it and gives me a crooked smile, her eyes lighting up .
"Perhaps we could. We've got a year before I graduate. Let's see how good you are to be my partner. "
So she's a senior.
I sigh at her. The coach who lost interest in our conversation went to scare another girl who seemed to be daydreaming.
"The Captain's partner is the ace of the team. In other words, two players who play center and Power forward." I say her but the glint in her eyes doesn't vanish.
"I decide who my partner is. It's up to you to decide if you're willing to be the best to stand beside me." She pat's me on the shoulder and walks away.
I felt it. The familiar driving passion inside of me welling up.
I'm so going to get the spot beside Señora if it's the last thing I do!