It was three years ago, and I was in my second semester of college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). It was the beginning of April, and the weather that day was absolutely perfect. It was around 70-some degrees outside, the sun was out, the sky was ocean-blue and the birds were chirping. It was a good day.
On this gorgeous day, I was hanging out with my friends Antoinette, Sam and Obi at Wallwork Hall, a residence hall. We were just chilling and talking, when Sam and Antoinette both had to leave. Sam had to work on some project, and Antoinette had to go to work till 6:00. It was around 2:00, and we all agreed to just meet back up at 6-6:30 for some dinner. Obi and I just stayed at Wallwork and continued talking with each other. We talked for about 30 minutes, when I suggested that we could go and play basketball outside at Stephenson. I explained to Obi that the weather was nice, and I thought that it would be a lot of fun. Obi responded, “I don’t think so, Zay Zay. It was packed at the basketball court, and I don’t think it’ll be open anytime soon. Plus, we’re wearing jeans, and I don’t feel like changing.”
I understood and agreed with him too, I wasn’t in the mood to just change my outfit either. I was looking nice and clean. However, I still wanted to play some basketball because I was in the mood to do something active. So, I said, “Bro, we can still play basketball in jeans. We’re just going to be shooting around, it’ll be fine. We’re not gonna get all physical and sweaty, we’re just shooting around.”
He asked me where we could go, and I responded, “Oh, we could go to the HUB and shoot around in the gym.
The HUB is a student center at IUP with a nice gymnasium.
Anyways, Obi stated, “Zay Zay, we can’t go to the HUB wearing jeans and playing basketball, we’ll look like fools.”
I said, “Obi, it’ll be fine man. It’s not that deep and again we’re just shooting around. We’re gonna be united wearing jeans at the gym.”
It took a lot of convincing on my part, but Obi ended up agreeing to go and play basketball with me. Then, Obi had to talk to a friend of his at Wallwork, so he instructed me to go to the HUB and rent out a basketball for us to use. So, I headed to the HUB and decided to wait for Obi to come. I don’t know why I decided to wait for Obi, instead of just getting a basketball and shooting around by myself. It still doesn’t make sense to me to this day. Anyways, I was waiting for Obi for ten minutes, and he texted me that he was going to be 20 more minutes. I thought to myself, “You know, I should just go back to my room and throw on some basketball shorts. I got time.”
Now, the HUB was 5-10 minutes away from Suites on Maple East, the residence hall that I lived at. I figured that I would have 10-20 minutes to get to my room and back to the HUB before Obi would make it to the HUB. By the time I reached my residence hall, Obi texted me that he was on his way to the HUB. I started freaking out and rushed to my room. I went into my drawers, found some basketball shorts and put them on. Then, I rushed out of my room and received a text from Obi about where I was at. I texted him back that I was on my way to the HUB, and that I had to pick something up from my room. I didn’t know what to expect from him when I would come to the HUB with basketball shorts on. Maybe he wouldn’t notice.
Now, I made it to the HUB, and Obi immediately noticed me wearing basketball shorts. He had his mouth wide opened and couldn’t believe he saw me wearing a whole basketball uniform. Then, he said in his jeans and polo, “Zay Zay, what are you wearing? Cause I know you weren’t wearing basketball shorts when we agreed to go and play basketball.”
Oh Lord, I wasn’t expecting him to notice my basketball shorts. I took a deep breath and said, “Well, you were gone for a minute, and I just figured that I could just stop at my room and put on some basketball shorts. Also, I didn’t know how long you would be with your friend.”
I laughed but Obi wasn’t laughing. He just waited for me to stop laughing, and then he said, “Oh my gosh, you are out of pocket. You got me here looking like a fool in front of everyone at the HUB. You could’ve told me that you changed and gave me the opportunity to change.”
“True, but look man, we can’t change the past. We have to focus on the present. Did I make a mistake? Yes. Am I sorry about it. Kind of. Can we just go and shoot some hoops?” I replied.
Obi just shook his head and said, “Just shut your mouth and go rent the basketball.”
I went ahead and rented the basketball, and I mentioned, “You know, we’re gonna probably be talking and laughing about this in years.”
“Zay Zay, I’m this close to hurting you,” Obi stated.
I thought he was serious, but I could tell that he was joking around with me. I laughed, and we ended up laughing together. It was good to know that we were good.
Anyways, we found one open basketball court in the HUB and started shooting around. So far, it was cool. I had kept my promise about us just shooting around. Also, we didn’t get tired or sweaty at all. Sadly, this promise would be broken too. A guy came onto our court and asked if we could play some pick-up games with him and his friends. They were in need of two more people. I was cool with playing with them, but Obi wasn’t. He said that he didn’t have the appropriate attired, and the guy responded, “Dude, it’s cool. There’s literally a guy wearing sandals right now.”
Obi and I looked over and saw a white guy wearing sandals on the basketball court. Obi reluctantly agreed. There were two captains, and the remainder of players were picked by the captains. Obi and I ended up being on different teams. After the teams were established, we established that it would be full court, and Obi gave me a stare. I pretended that I didn’t see it. Then, we started playing some basketball.
Now, I was doing well. I was scoring, had a couple of blocks, played some good defense and had some nice assists. Overall, I was playing good. Meanwhile, Obi was struggling. He was missing his shots, and he was a defensive liability. Plus, the guy with the sandals was playing better than him. Then, tragedy struck Obi.
It was a very close on our last pick-up game of basketball. My team was up by 1, but we needed one more basket to win the game. I remember I dribbled past someone and kicked it out to this white guy that was wide open. He had been hitting his shots all day, and I was expecting him to make it. Sadly, he missed it, and Obi ended up getting the rebound. Everyone got back, but that same white guy that missed the shot was still there. He ended up calling for the ball from Obi. Without hesitation, Obi passed the ball to my teammate. My teammate dribbled past Obi and made an easy layup. My team had won thanks to Obi. His team just left the court, and Obi was shocked with his mouth wide open. It was honestly the most hilarious and saddest thing I saw on a basketball court.
It was around 6-ish, and I just kept clowning him for passing the ball to my teammate. Obi laughed and said, “I don’t know what happened. If anything, he’s out of pocket for that. He deceived me and everything.”
We met up with Antoinette and Sam, and we told them everything that happened. They laughed, and we enjoyed each other’s company.
To this day, Obi is still mad at me about the whole basketball shorts thing. He felt like I did him dirty, and I have to agree with him. I did do him dirty, but forgiveness is such a powerful thing in this world. Obi has forgiven me, but he has not forgotten. He almost always mentions it to me, but we always share a good laugh about it. We even mention it to new people that we meet, it’s like a must for us to tell the basketball shorts story. It’s a story that always puts a smile on my face. It’s a story that really solidified our friendship and helped us establish a long-lasting friendship that I am so grateful and blessed to have.
Thank you for reading “Basketball Shorts.” Be sure to like, comment and share your thoughts on this story.
Next week, I will be posting part one of a four-part story titled “The Black Pill” on the Dark Colors series. Then, I will be posting part two on Thursday.