I have always loved basketball. The first hoop I ever owned? It was a breakaway rim that my father got from a co-worker. We had no backboard or pole, so my dad attached it to a hunk of plywood, we painted a square on it, bolted it to a ladder, and tied that ladder to a tree.
The court was a dirt court speckled with half buried rocks the size of small tire rims and shaped like prehistoric set pieces. It wasn’t smooth, was slightly uphill, and even had a sticker bush (as we called it) on one side. You got extra free throws if you got fouled into the sticker bush.
My dad was a quintessential Dadlete. I remember marveling at him playing in games. Seeing him dunk on a fast break or block a shot almost nonchalantly. And sometimes he would play with us in the backyard – he was the only way that we knew that the breakaway rim actually worked since I wasn’t tall enough to dunk.
I enjoyed several years of fun basketball in high school before retiring from organized competition when I entered college. But, I have always had the bug. Tournaments, charity games, pick-up games – and sometimes just shooting some hoops in the backside of a school. It is an easy way to get active and have fun doing it.
Now, as a Dadlete, I have had the pleasure of having my kids watch me (embarrass myself). But what’s even better? We were able to find a used portable hoop for my kids to play with in the yard. It was like a sequel to my childhood – minus the sticker bush and rocks.
I donned my Russell gear and we dribbled into some friendly competition.
Are my kids as serious about hoops as I was? Probably not. And they don’t need to be. They just need to have fun. So we dribble, we shoot, sometimes we travel, sometimes we hide behind cars, sometimes we tickle to steal. But through it all, we laugh. We play.
Recently, both kids have decided to give organized hoops a shot (excuse the pun). So, with the encouragement of my wife, I have taken the next logical step as a Dadlete: I have agreed to coach both of them.
They say that parenthood is like a second act of childhood. Well, I am looking forward to it. Is there a chance they won’t like it? Sure. But whether they love it or decided to give it up, I will enjoy hitting the court with both of them.
In the meantime, I performed an obligatory act in my backyard. I lowered the hoop and put on a dunk show. Was it anything like my dad’s dunks? Nope. But at the end of the day, I can say that we had a ball.
Whether you are a hoopster or some other kind of Dadlete, Russell Athletic has a wide variety of products that will suit your needs. I personally am a big fan of the mesh and training shorts and and the FreshForce performance underwear. Check out the selection online or at a local WalMart and then get your Dadlete action on!
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