my father and my uncle, in their day, were both formidable athletes. both had served in the military.
in los angeles, la cienega park basketball games could be competitive. i was told the likes of ucla great sidney wicks would play. my father would often pointed him out when he say mr. wicks walking down olympic blvd.
my father and uncle loved playing basketball. perhaps because the park games’ competitiveness was at such a high level, they moved their game to my uncle’s house at nearby carthay circle.
there, they created the ntmba, the national two man basketball association. it’s hallowed court, my uncle’s backyard. a half court set up with the hoop placed above the garage. the league was a battle of west coast versus east coast as my my uncle was from new jersey and my father from washington state.
while we were attending sunday religious school, the league would play. it was classic old man basketball with elbowing, shoving, and the occasional slamming the opponent into the garage door.
the ntmba was serious. games were playing in official tmba uniforms. a league championship game was held which include the award of the ntmba trophy. the trophy of dominance and excellence consisted of an old basketball spray painted gold. an officical ntmba awards banquet was held.
ntmba history records that our oldest cousin, who was a very talented athlete, made brief league appearance. many years later, he would fondly reflect on the pain he suffered in the tmba. being mugged, accosted and slammed into the garage door, left him with lifelong impressions.
the ntmba eventually disbanded. it was a success. the two men got their exercise, their laughs and the opportunity to let their creativity run wild. at family get-togethers, decades later, we cousins have much joy in sharing the story to the next generation.
too often, the society’s entertainment offerings are either “not for us,” “not interesting, ” or are “not enriching.” we should not resolve ourselves to accept them. likewise, we should not be resentful.
within us, we all have creative power. your happiness and the happiness for others will be increased by unleashing it. in the end, you may have the power to enrich yourself.
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