This past Friday night I had the chance to see Carmelo Anthony score not only a career high of single handling scoring 62 points in one game, but surpassing Bernard King’s record set against the Nets in 84, Kobe Bryant’s Madison Square Garden record of 61 points in 2009 and Kevin Durant’s highest-scoring game in the NBA this season of 54 points…all from courtside seats, (right next to the Knicks team). I know, I know don’t hate me but one of my best friend’s has an amazing connection through a friend and we were able to witness sports history in the making courtside. Oh and I just so happened to be sitting in seat 7 which is Carmelo Anthony’s number!
To witness the camaraderie of the Knicks team in person is a moment I will never forget. Let me tell you first hand, that sitting in extremely close proximity of the team and witnessing Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Metta World Peace and especially Iman Shumpert who literally was on the floor cheering on Carmelo Anthony, as he broke multiple records that night proved, that all the ‘he said, she said’ was no exaggeration. After a five game losing streak, the Knicks defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 125-96. The high of the win put me back on memory lane of my love of basketball in high school and how sports impacted my life.
Let me be blunt, I was far from popular in high school, in fact I was in every sense of the word a nerd and complete loner. My twin sister and I attended the same school, naturally but our schedules were completely different in partial reason so teachers could tell us apart, so during the four years of highschool we never had one class or lunch together, which led me to opt out of the whole cafeteria experience, and spend my lunch break in the school library…yes, for 4 years that was my ritual combined with the turbulent Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde relationship of my father at home, sports were a huge stress release. Besides music, sports were the only after school extracurricular activities my sister and I could really partake in. I played a bit of lacrosse and even more volleyball but basketball was the one sport I felt instantly connected with, especially due to the accessibility, I spent many summers on the court working on my jump shot and handball skills. The film ‘Love & Basketball’ really could have been about my life…well minus the love. In fact one of the rare and fondest memories of high school involved an away game when my sister and I played one of our biggest rivals and won, then returning home on the bus singing Queens, ‘We Are The Champions’. Till this day the smell of a basketball or being on a court provokes memories of how much basketball help build my self-confidence.
Though sometimes I feel sports regarding men are looked at as something naturally a boy should want to seriously participate in, as where when a girl chooses the same path it can sometimes feel you are looked at with a third eye; denouncing your femininity to be revoked for all of your future existence. Yes, my sister and I were the ultimate tomboys but this had nothing to do with sports and this may sound “hypocritical” to say, but there was nothing more feminine to me than seeing women collectively taking control. I felt the most attractive while on the court and I directly correlate this to self-confidence. You also can best believe there was no boy who would dare disrespect me and get away with it, but that wasn’t even a problem since I played ball, boys looked at us in a different light, more like one of the guys, and the fact that my father would literally kill any boy that dare try, lol.
Long story short, I practically loathed every day of my high school years and when most of my class was reminiscing as we threw our caps up in the air for graduation, I was giddy with anticipation. Despite those years I wouldn’t have changed a thing, but I was fortunate enough to have my sister and Mother plus some strong positive coping mechanisms like sports to cushion the years.
*Below are shots from Carmelo Anthony’s record breaking game.
Photos: Cipriana Quann
I tried to capture the camaraderie of the Knicks in action but there was too much commotion, lol.