Adam Johnson was the definition of a perfect basketball player. He was a towering 6 foot 3, but his voice was softer than of a mouse. He had a young sleek face of a man in his early twenties. He had a serious yet attaching demeanor towards the people he spoke to, like a disarming combination of fire and ice. His short, spiky, sandy blonde hair clung firmly onto his head. Everyone at the gym that day would agree that Adam Johnson was so humble, not even the humblest of men could equate.
One particularly bright summer afternoon, I entered the gym and headed straight to the basketball courts. I always was the first person to enter the gym at one o’ clock sharp, right when the gym opened. My mother had to go to work at one o'clock and she was my only means of transportation to the gym. To any ordinary person the gym appeared nothing out of the ordinary. It had old dusty wooden floors, sturdy four ten-feet basketball rims, and four brand new white silky nets, one for each rim. I despised the lack of ability to put the basketball through those beautiful silky, angelic nets. It was then that I realized most people despised that fact too.
“What's up with that face? Dreaming about those nets or something?” he asked with a smile and a genuine look of curiosity in his face.
“Not dreaming, just hate the fact that they are even there,” I sneered,
“Basketball was not made for nobody.” I said
“Anybody,” he corrected me,
“Without basketball, we would all be obese.” He gestured his head towards the gym wall, which had pictures saying to stay healthy.
“Here, take this ball dude.”
The smooth leather ball that I was holding in my thin hands was no other than the “FIBA”. I was more confused than a toddler trying to decrypt their older siblings physics homework. The ball was not supposed to be in hands such as mine, due to the infamous beauty and firm grip of world championship FIBA ball. I wondered if there was more to this man than met the eye.
“From this day on Ahmed, we will be practicing together everyday.”
“Why are you trying to make me feel that I need you or something? I apologize if you did not appreciate my remark on the nets,” I said with an eye roll that was meant for him to see. He gave me a look filled with care and slight concern, and began to thump the basketball onto the dusty wooden floor. His rhythm of dribbling the basketball was utterly appalling and soothing, like the smooth jazz that was played on a summer night in New Orleans. The sound was like a soothing lullaby that would put anybody to a long and beautiful sleep, it seduced my soul into thinking that I was in heaven. I found myself not paying…