Last night, I used the Optimum app, which allows you to watch live television on your iPhone, to tune into the last minute of the Thunder-Mavericks ball game. Boy, am I glad that I did.
As I squinted to see the players on my tiny screen, a Maverick shot the three and buried it to take a one-point lead. It was the player with #25 printed on his back. As the camera zoomed in, I realized it was Vince Carter–the man who had the esteemed title of being my favorite player when I was 13-years-old.
Memories flashed back in my head once again, as they often have been doing during the NBA’s premiere week. Back when VC was on the Nets and sported #15, it’s safe to say I was obsessed with his game. He was kind of the reason I became good friends with one of the girls in my class. We were paired up for “Science Symposium,” and can I just say–we killed it, but they decided not to pick winners that year (lame). I went to her house to help put the final touches on our PowerPoint presentation. Afterwards, while we waited for my dad to pick me up (since 8th graders can’t drive), we just sat there chilling on her most-comfortable living room couches.
I guess we both kind of vaguely mentioned some stuff about basketball and VC, then realized the other girl wasn’t just smiling and nodding and actually knew what she was talking about. Our eyes pretty much widened like the way cartoon characters’ eyes do as the revelation had graced both of us at the same time.
YOU LIKE VINCE CARTER?!
The chemistry between us sparked like the enzymes in our science experiment that turned our apples brown when exposed to oxygen, and my dad’s car pulled up the driveway too soon.
A few months later in June, my friend gave one of the two student-speeches at our 8th grade graduation, and we had this thing–well, it was VC’s thing. He would “crank it up” after making a nice shot. So, in the middle of her speech, my friend looked at me and said, “Crank it up, Habeeba,” which woke my brother up in the audience and made the entire class of 23 students smile. That’s pretty much the only thing I remember about that graduation.
Those were some good times–not that these present times aren’t good times, but it’s just crazy how years fly by SO fast. I graduated middle school in 2006, which honestly, doesn’t sound like it was that long ago. But then, I remember…today is the last Friday in 2011–a trending topic on Twitter. It’s December 30th. I’m going to a New Years’ Eve party tomorrow night. 2012 is less than 48 hours away, God-willing.
I’m not in 8th grade anymore. I’m not in high school anymore, and I’m not a college freshman. One of my best friends turned 20 yesterday, and we first met when we were 12. Vince Carter is not a Net. He’s not a Sun or a player on the Magic. He’s a Maverick. He wears #25 now. I didn’t see him “crank it up” last night when he scored that three. Maybe it was because his three was too little too soon. Kevin Durant, main man on the Thunder, came right back to score a counter-three at the buzzer, and he got his team the win. He wears #35.