The Legend of The Independent Rez Baller

He walks wearing a “No Blood, No Foul” t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. His walk is more like a swagger, as if he just jumped off a bull after riding it for 9 seconds. As if he just fought off 20 chicks, as if he won the lottery, or as if he was just released from jail. He wears shades and braids, a backwards ball cap, basketball shorts worn year round, all day every day, and carries one of his hundreds of hoodies. This one was a Mr. Hustle from a memorial tournament back in 1995. The hoodies in his closet read like an obituary. So many fallen brothers all honored in the name of basketball. Rez ball.
This was the life, this was all he could live and breathe, well other than the pack a day of cheap cigs and dimebag a day, independent rez ball was his life every since he returned from Haskell with no degree. His first wife had high hopes of the NBA for him, she followed him to Haskell and gave him a fat baby boy with black hair and bright eyes. Eventually he fathered another child in the 2nd year, so his high school sweetheart left him to go back to the rez. He drank and lost the scholarship he worked so hard for in high school, and soon after he lost the pretty little Southern Indian girl from Oklahoma that sired him another son.
He returned to his rez, no longer the hometown hero that took his high school to the state championship. He returned a has been. He got jobs here and there, but they always got in the way of this tourney or that tourney. It was easier to just…play ball. That was his life. More so than women. the women and girls came and went along with a string of babies and mounting-into-another-atmosphere child support. He loved each and every girl, of course they were always younger, just out of high school or early 20s and most were looking for someone to take care of them. They usually had stars in their eyes when he met them and hate at the end. He just couldn’t find the right woman, the one that believed in him. The one the wouldn’t cut up his precious tournament clothing, the one that would understand, this was his life. All he wanted to do was ball.

He got back home, to his aunt and uncles. He realized living in the basement of their HUD house was best, even if he found a new girl, he never brought any over here. He couldn’t risk getting his tourney clothing burned, stolen, or cut up, anymore. He pulled down his new Nikes. He bought these with his split from the pot of the last tourney. He had to get in his right frame of mind, basketball was a mind game also. He smoked a joint, took a shower, and waited for his new girl to pick him up and cheer him on.

This tournament had a new star rumors were going around about. Someone back on break from their 4th year of college and ready to roll. Someone rumored to be out after him, The Legend. Someone wanting to show him up.

He laced his shoes up, and stood to go face this new big shot, this “college hoops star.”

He wanted to see if his oldest son really had what it took.

(C) Dana Lone Hill 2012

I wrote this on my bus ride this morning and this story is totally fictional, any coincidences and you should be ashamed! Haha, just kidding any coincidences are just that.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry. Ain’t gotta lie to kick it


9 thoughts on “The Legend of The Independent Rez Baller

  1. Fine piece, Dana. Topic & characterization very much in the vein of great author John Updike’ and the ending has a perfect O’Henry twist ending, an observation meant affirm your own accomplishment. A real-life sports story about a 27-year-old basketball player who returned to Haskell to finish his studies and continue his superb hoop skills appeared in newspaper a couple of years ago. Out of respect for his privacy, I’ll not mention his hame. He’s on Facebook, tho.

  2. Native American Basketball, Inc. , and the website, here, this is a very nice story. I love it. I hope you don’t mind I placed it on our Facebook page NativeAmericanBasketball , I am originally from Fort Peck Rez, Montana, Dakota / Lakota , I am in Los Angeles now. I would like to link with your blog if that is cool and if you have any other basketball stories like this , i would love to read them. Love this one.

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