GREENSBORO, N.C. (CHARLOTTE SPORTS LIVE) – I have a confession to make.
I am addicted to basketball.
When I’m not working, I’m hooping, and it’s been that way since I was a kid. So, when the opportunity came to chase a dream, I knew I had to take my shot.
“It’s a really exciting day for us as an organization and the G League as a whole,” said Greensboro Swarm head coach Jordan Surenkamp as he welcomed me to the team’s open tryouts.
It’s something the Swarm have done nearly every year since their inaugural season in the G League back in 2016. Yet, in six years, only one player managed to make the squad. I was determined to be the second.
“The pressure is there,” Surenkamp said. “You’re going to have to bring your ‘A’ game.
In all 85 hopefuls attended.
“If I made the team, I’d bust out crying,” said tryout attendee Shileal Grovner.
They ranged in age from their 20s to early 50s. Some were really good.
“I averaged 23 points as a junior in high school. Thirty points as a senior,” said Jevon Smith, another attendee.
Others, like my 40-year-old self, were really small. In fact, at 5-9, I was the shortest on the court. It felt like high school all over again.
Before long, the scheduled four-and-a-half-hour tryout was underway, and of course, it began in an awkward fashion.
“That’s my seat,” said a coach.
Even on the bench, I managed to mess up.
Once I got into the game, I quickly realized I was not the worst person on the floor. I also realized I was not going to get to the ball. So instead, I decided to make the most of the day. I set picks. I got rebounds, and then I set more picks.
I was like an old Jud Buechler.
Ultimately, though, it was not enough, to make this team, I needed to score, and after my lone shot was sent into orbit, I realized the day was not going to end well.
“You’re cutting me?” I asked the coach.
“We’ll have to give it a go next year,” he affirmed.
You better believe I will. Because while it clearly doesn’t love me. I still love basketball.