For the love of the game
Shayne was growing impatient already, he continuously looked back to the wallclock hanging on the wall in his classroom, he was hoping school would close as soon as possible so he would have another interesting basketball play with Johnny.
Not that he managed to get a good point each time they played, Johnny always got the better of him.
Johnny was a better player because he had more experience in the game; Shayne was new to the game, he had always nurtured an interest in the game, it was his favourite sport, he never missed out whenever it was shown on TV, sometimes he would not mind missing his meal just to watch the game.
Now he had an opportunity to actually play his favourite game, he was hell bent in becoming a good player.
The bell rang and Shayne was first to pick his bag and dash out of the classroom, he ran to the school's basketball court and waited for Johnny to show up. It took a while but as usual, Johnny showed up with smiles all over his face, he knew he was going to win the game like he always do.
"Hey Johnny, are you ready to lose this time?"
Shayne asked and got Johnny laughing, Johnny enjoyed playing with Shayne because he was persistent even when he knew he would lose the game, he would still boast of winning and that was the fun part of it.
Both boys usually play a game the called 21. Whoever got 21 points first would win the game.
It didn't take up to ten minutes before Johnny got his first 21 points, he won the game again. It had always been like that, but somehow he took longer than before to reach that point, unlike before it was barely five minutes, Shanye saw this as progress.
"Don't worry Johnny, I would win tomorrow"
He said and got Johnny laughing again.
"I bet you will"
Shanye got home that day and watched more of his favorite game. He quickly ate his dinner and got glued to the TV set. It was time to watch the game again.
His favorite team was playing already, he sat to watch and of course learn in the process. Johnny was better because he could dribble the ball more better than shanye, and he was equally quick and sharp in snatching the ball. Shanye watched on how to get better at this weakness.
He watched how the those with the ball skillfully dribble past their opponents and how they were able to secure a perfect spot to get the ball in the basket. Shanye promised himself he was going to get at least a point or two in his next game with Johnny.
The next day he took his time to study how Johnny handled the ball, how he moved and dribbled quickly, surely it was something he could also do. The game started and this time it took Johnny more time to get his first 21points after Shanye had successfully gained 2 points for himself.
Shanye was extremely happy with his progress, he was proud of himself for actually getting the two points he promised himself.
Johnny was equally happy with Shanye's progress, he could observe the game was getting tougher for him as the day go by and he was happy about it, it was a good way to be better at the game and also make it more interesting.
"Nice one Shanye, you got two points today"
Johnny tapped him on his back gently with a smile.
"Of course Johnny, remember I told you that I would win this game"
Johnny laughed as usual.
"Of course you will one day"
For two weeks Shanye couldn't get past his one to two points against Johnny until the third week when he got four points and then the next week later he got six points.
Johnny was happy for him, he wanted him to get better, he promised to buy him pizza the next week if he gets up to ten points.
Shanye took up the challenge, he really enjoyed testing himself against Johnny and seeing himself get slightly better and better, he never complained about how he lost each time they played.
He knew Johnny was better than he was because he had played a lot.
Luckily his father bought him a basketball, he knew his son had interest in the game. Shanye was extremely happy, he practised with his father that day, his father was equally good at the game.
He learnt a few tricks from his father and when he played against Johnny the next week, he got up to ten points.
He was extremely happy, he felt like he won the game since he was able to meet up with the challenge Johnny put up to him. Johnny was equally surprised at his improvements, and just as he promised he bought pizza for Shanye the next day.
Shanye didn't stop there, he practised more, his aim was to get better and to achieve that he had to put in more efforts. He tried putting in some few dribbling tricks he learnt into his gameplay.
Most times Johnny was able to get by his tricks and snatch the ball, but on few occasions he was able to dribble past Johnny using those dribbling tricks.
"Yes! I did it!"
He screamed out one day when he successfully dribbled Johnny and secured a point for himself.
"That was impressive Shanye"
Johnny commented as they played on.
Holidays was approaching already. And Shanye knew they would have to stop playing basketball for a few weeks since the school was the only place they could use a basketball court to play.
Shanye doubled his efforts and got better and better. And by the time they had stopped playing many weeks after holidays, he had managed to narrow the gap between their scores.
He had never won a game against Johnny, but on the last game they played, be managed to get 14 points before he won. He couldn't wait to play another game with Shanye, he was confident he could get an higher score. He was sure one day, be would get up to the 21 points and win the game.