Apr 8, 201012:07 PMPlaying for Our Team

Lesbian Sports blog

Basketball in the park

Apr 8, 2010 - 12:07 PM
Basketball in the park

During the summer months, I love playing basketball in the park. Once a week, a few friends and I head down to shoot some hoops on the outdoor courts. Usually, the courts are overcrowded with young boys and grown men looking to prove that they are all the second coming of Michael Jordan. We are always outnumbered, and have to wait our turn for a chance to play against them.

So when my friend Yolanda and I decided to dust off our basketball sneakers from the winter and head down the park on the first warm, sunny day of spring, I wasn’t surprised to see that the courts were already crowded. We chose a spot, called “next” and patiently waited our turn. As soon as we stepped out on the court to play the winning team, one of the players stated his position quite clearly.

“I’m not checking a girl,” he said.

Yolanda and I exchanged glances.

“No offense or anything,” he continued. “I just won’t check a girl ‘cause I know I won’t play as hard.”

Yolanda and I smiled. It’s not like we haven’t head this sort of thing before. I grew up playing basketball against my brothers and their friends, and against all of the guys in my college intramural league. I played in a three-on-three tournament with my brothers three years ago. I was the only girl in our bracket, and we came in third place out of 20 or so teams.

Needless to say, I wasn’t offended. I actually felt sorry for the guy. He didn’t want to “check a girl” not because he wouldn’t play as hard, but because he was afraid of being shown up. Yolanda whispered this exact statement to me before we began to play. I nodded. We left it alone.

There were two other guys on our team, and one of them guarded Mr. “I-won’t-check-a-girl” man so that he wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. We quickly proved our point as we jumped ahead in the score. This team had been winning every game, and we were the first team to get a lead on them—with two girls on our side. Even though we ended up losing by two points, I was happy to get out and play hard. It’s not about winning for me, it’s just about having fun and playing ball.

Unfortunately, Mr. “I-won’t-check-a-girl’s” comments aren’t an isolated incident. I have had to prove that I am just as good of a baller as any guy all of my life. But I don’t fool myself into thinking that I am an undiscovered Diana Taurasi, either. I know where I stand, but I always give it my all—no matter who I am guarding. Maybe next time I step on the court, I’ll say, “I’m not checking a guy.”

When they look at me funny, I’ll smile.

“No offense or anything. I just won’t check a guy because I know I’ll play my hardest and make him feel like less of a man.”

I wonder what would have happened if Maya Moore had been on my team. The UCONN superstar is the best college women’s basketball player in the country. She led UCONN to back-to-back undefeated seasons and NCAA Championships. Would he have “checked” her?
I seriously doubt it.


Blogger Bio: Lyndsey D'Arcangelo is a versatile writer, having experience as a journalist, copywriter, author, freelancer and blogger. She is the author of the Golden Crown Literary Society Award-winning book, The Trouble with Emily Dickinson (also a Lambda Literary Award finalist). Her recent novel, The Crabapple Tree, was published in May 2009. In addition to writing short stories and novels, Lyndsey also contributes regularly to a variety of national and local publications. Visit lyndseydarcangelo.com for more information.

Apr 9, 2010 02:50 pm
 Posted by  vocalrollercoaster

Thanks, Lyndsey... I just found your blogs on Curve's online site and wanted you to know I'm going to share the link to them with the women in our PlayDays-East Bay sports group. What we've started is a group for women over 40 who want to come out and jhave fun outdoors (or in) using play as exercise... you know, if you have fun doing it, then it will become more of a habit. And if you do it with others who also enjoy it, then it becomes a community activity, one that encourages increased participation.

I launched our site less than a week ago (we're having our second PlayDay tomorrow with an emphasis on softball skills and loose workouts), and already we have over 40 women signed up... 13 have put up profiles. I'm setting it up so that our "Links" section has lots of resources and inspirational websites that will encourage our visitors (whether they're members or not) to be aware of all the wonderful ways we can stay focused, inspired, energetic, and dedicated to the one cause that is most important to our well-being... that of our own, individual health and wellness. Play is such an important part of that scenario.

Our motto: PlayDays: It's not just for kids anymore.

Please stop by and visit our site: http://www.playdays-eastbay.webs.com

If you like the mention of your blogs column in our Links page, please let me know. If not, I'll take it out, but I thought women in the Bay Area would really appreciate reading your blogs because it keeps the focus on relevant issues.

I enjoy being creative and helping to make the lives of friends, loved ones, and women in general more happy, healthy and productive through my efforts.

Best wishes for a fabulous summer sporting season,

K.C. Frogge
Music: http://www.kcfrogge.com
Jewelry: http://www.kcfdesigns.com
PlayDays: http://www.playdays-eastbay.webs.com

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