Basketball Boys 1

By: Ely Lagajino

Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. 1Corinthians 4:2 (ESV)

It was summer, 1966 when water was scarce in the city.  Grandma requested Eli to spend vacation time with them, to help fetch water. To make vacation worthwhile she encouraged Eli to watch a basketball tournament in a nearby school compound after his daily chores. “Thank you, Grandma, oh, how I love to watch the game”, his eyes sparkled. It was his first time to witness a basketball game.

Eli played volleyball in the barrio with his friends but they never heard of basketball. He had a bright idea, to introduce basketball in school. He watched the whole tournament for two months to acquaint himself with the rules of the game.

Every day Grandma gave him money for the entrance fee,but he availed of the free upper box entrance by climbing up the nearby rooftop to watch the game.  He bought a junior ball and a ring, out of the money that he saved and assembled the ring in front of Grandma’s house.  During free time he practiced playing basketball. 

Back home in the coastal barrio, he introduced the steps in playing the game to his classmates. They used the cemented hallway of the classrooms as their practice area. 

They organized and formed teams for the tournament. Everybody was excited to join and willing to contribute fortournament fees. Grade four to grade six boys formed the six teams.

But there was one problem, “We don’t have a real basketball court”, one classmate complained. The hallway was too small to put up a junior-size basketball court. 

 “Why not use the new classroom building” Douglas raised his hand.

“At lunchtime”, Noli added. 

Eli thought it was an excellent idea since his aunt was the school headteacher, who entrusted the keys of the new classroom building to him. Lunch break during those times was quite long, from 11:30 in the morning to 2:00 in the afternoon, seems reasonable enough.     

“Okay, we can use it at lunch break, just make sure we don’t destroy anything,” Eli finally

decided, but he forgot one thing, to ask permission from his aunt.

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