A Rhode Island Basketball Reunion


The following true story could probably only happen in Rhode Island.

I recently started playing in a men’s basketball league at the YMCA. I know several of the guys from the town where I live but a few I didn’t know. One guy I was sure I had seen before. His name is Tom. When I saw him, I had this negative reaction to him that I couldn’t explain. He is actually our best player. So after the game I was chatting with another one of our players , Bob. I asked where Tom was from, as I thought I recognized him. I actually thought he was from Portsmouth’s rival, Middletown. I figured that would explain why I had this adverse reaction to him. Bob said he was from Pawtucket. I asked him how old he was, and he said 42, and Bob was the same age. He then said Tom played high school ball in Narragansett. So I knew I had played against Tom in high school. He was their best player so maybe that explains my emotions upon seeing him after 25 years. I wondered out loud with Bob if Tom had any special memories of Portsmouth. (We crushed Narragansett) Glen said, ” You went to Portsmouth, wow, I went to Davies Vocational.”  Diddly readers who have known Diddly a long time would immediately know the significance of that. Davies beat us by a point in RI Class C Championship.

I didn’t know whether to hug him or smack him.

We went down memory lane, of course, and talked about Portsmouth’s impressive upset victory against Ponaganset in the semifinals, a powerhouse that year who had easily beaten Class A teams in the preseason. Glen’s team actually beat Tom’s team in the semifinals.

His most poignant memory of that championship game was throwing a very poor inbounds pass that could have lost them the game. The game was tied  or something and there was very little time.  It turns out that my friend and co-captain Dave Platt tried to steal that poorly thrown pass and fouled the receiver. He made the free throws and we lost our opportunity to get a stop on defense and  take it to overtime. If Bob had thrown a good pass Dave never would have been tempted to steal it and we might have had a different outcome.

Thanks for sucking on that play Bob, thanks a lot.

I am not bitter. Not at all.

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One Response to “A Rhode Island Basketball Reunion”

  1. Davis Says:

    It’s fun to meet up again with long lost acquaintances. Enjoyed your reminiscence.

    Like

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