Basketball Boys 2

By: Ely Lagajino

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 14:12 (ESV)

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The last day—Championship, everyone eagerly talked about the game which had become a school sensation. A classmate greeted the players, “Congratulations, your basketball tournament plan worked; imagine, our teachers have no idea about the games because they go home during lunch break!” No security guards, no janitors, of course, no CCTV cameras those days would reveal their secret. Those who brought food and went home for lunch finished eating as fast as they could without saying a word to their parents.

Players placed their breakable bottles of water on the window ledge inside the classroom to signal the start of the game. Those days, plastic bottles were not yet widely used. Animated fans crowded the windows of the new classroom building. Fans cheered for their favorites as they fixed their eyes on their first-ever basketball championship game.

Everyone witnessed a seesaw battle towards the closing minutes. At the dying seconds of the game Eli tried a layup shot for the winning basket, but his opponent committed a hard foul on him. He lost his balance, and before hitting the floor, an excited fan by the window ledge accidentally knocked off one of the water bottles; it dropped and broke into several pieces…Eli landed hard on one of them. The back of his left palm suffered a long cut as blood oozed and scattered on the floor.

Players from both teams and spectators ran for first aid-young guava leaves. In the barrio, in the absence of medicine, guava leaves were an effective treatment for open wounds. They all chewed on the leaves and donated them, to help stop the bleeding. The older players ripped their shirts, to wrap the chewed guava leaves around his palm. Everyone was in panic mode, except Eli. He was beginning to look weak and dizzy and was about to faint. His classmates had no choice but to bring him to their homeroom adviser’s house.

Nobody was declared champion as their secret basketball tournament ended.

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