The fight that I’ll never forget…
We lived in an apartment complex called Lake Castleton Apartments. There was a basketball court across the street from where our apartment was. Every Saturday, weather permitting, many of the neighborhood kids would be on the courts. The courts consist of one basketball court and two tennis courts. Of course… all the kids would be there because of the basketball court.
My parents were divorced by this time, and my mother had been remarried. My step-father had three sons, and we all loved the game of basketball. We would collect cards of teams and trade cards. We would go to basketball games, and we all participated in boys basketball programs in our community.
On this Saturday, it was my step-fathers weekend to have his sons. We woke up early to watch cartoons like every young kid does. We ate our breakfast and possibly played some video games. We then put on your basketball clothes and went to the courts. We enjoyed playing two-on-two, three-on-three, or full court games. There was always a game going on. You would practice and warm-up over near the tennis courts, or if it was a full court game, you would take some quick shots when they game was on the other side of the court.
During this Saturday, my brothers and I played a three-on-three game. It was my brother, some random kid, and me on one team, and then it was my other brother, some random kid, and Jim (I can’t remember his real name, but Jim and I never had a great friendship. In fact, he hated me so much that he would constantly try to fight me.) on the other team.
For some odd reason, Jim was acting very cool with me. Almost, as if, he finally wanted to be friends. We were defending each other during the games, and we both showed each other up from time to time. There is a mystery about sports that does bond a friendship between men. You can hate each other one minute, then play some basketball/football, and find yourself calling them ‘buddy’ the next.
I go to check the ball at the start of the third game. His team won the first game of 21. My team won the second game, so this was the tie-breaker game. I went to check him the ball, and he grabbed it and started to taunt me. I thought he was playing at first, then he threw the ball extremely hard at me. I figured he was just really getting into the last game. We played and my team scored. I went back up-top to check him the ball again. He did the same thing but added “asshole” afterwords and came charging up to me when I grabbed the ball. Of course he was fouling me, but I usually didn’t call the sissy fouls. No blood, No Foul… was the courts rules. Although, it never ended up getting THAT rough until this Saturday.
We scored and the game was 18-10. We had this game, and we had this series. That is when things turned for the worse. When I went to check the ball, this time he threw it at my head. Everyone started watching. I grabbed the ball, and checked it to him again (telling him that is not they way we check it), and this time he threw it hard towards my face. At this point he started to taunt me again, however; this time the taunting was deeper. To taunt him back, I politely checked him the ball again. Again, he tried throwing it at my face. I then grabbed the ball and pretended to quickly pass the ball to my teammate in the middle of the paint. Jim turned, quickly, to try to stop the ball, but before his conscience could even recognized that I faked the pass, a ball went flying into the side of his face at full force.
He turned around, an anger expression on his face, and started to talk trash again. I dropped the ball and started heading towards the gate. I got about twenty feet from the gate, when I heard someone scream to me: “Watch Out!”. I turned around and saw Jim heading full-speed towards me. I ran towards the gate, grabbed the gate, and swung it full-force right into him.
I then fall. Tripped over a big rock right outside the courts. Almost blacked out. I didn’t know what I fell over at first. I laid there trying to regain my strength and thoughts, but then my reality came back quickly. He climbed on top of me… swinging his fist at my face and chest. By this time, my brothers had already ran past me to go get help. Before I knew it, someone grabbed Jim off of me and had him pinned against the fence to the courts. It was my Step-father. My brothers had freaked out and ran to get his help. I was grateful of that.
Jim was messed up, and that is putting it lightly. He had to get 22 stitches. He was cut from his eyebrows, to his nose, to his check, to his lips, and finally down to his chin. The gate fence had that barbwire twist to it. With me slamming his face into it… those all cut into his skin and tore him up pretty good.
His mother tried to press charges on me… but after the police did some investigation, they concluded that it was her son that started everything and taunted me. Jim and his mother ended up moving before the start of the next school year, and I have never heard/seen from him again.
To Be Continued…