Most people might consider their midrange, or their passing or post game to be their greatest asset, but for sure my biggest strength is my trash talk. Talking yourself up is one hundred percent part of the game, especially in pick-up and I love the banter between everyone (as long as we keep it funny). I think a lot of people get so caught up in the game and forget the reason we are there is to have fun. Plus the competitive drive in me is spiked every time someone disrespects you and leaves you wide open.
My early memories of basketball were days spent on the synthetic pitches at my primary school. The teachers would let us borrow those size six blue basketballs with the handprint guides on them and we would play games until the bell rang. There was zero co-ordination between teams and the score was never tracked; just whoever wanted to join in. People would run onto the court at random to start playing, often for only one or two possessions before kicking the ball away.
I definitely missed the Kobe/Shaq era, so Lebron was always the player I loved watching. His athleticism, game sense and leadership were what drew me to him. I never really watched the NBA seriously until the 2015/16 NBA finals, where the Cavs had that historic win against the Warriors. I think that championship year really solidified him as the best player to play the game.
Overall, pickup basketball has honestly changed my life. I’ve gained extensive friendships and a newfound sense for the game through pick-up – where it’s not just about winning, it’s more about how the game brings everyone together. The stadium (at Terrigal) is for sure a landing ground for everyone to come and hang out. Catching people there for runs is a great way of spending time with those I might not normally see so often.