First the disclaimer. No where on my resume as grandma does it state: “yeah, she sure knows what she’s doing in the statistics department.” Three years ago, as a freshman in a very large, urban high school, Landon made the varsity basketball team. You would have thought this delighted me, but I was less than thrilled. Skeptical even. I visualized Landon (Drew to the rest of the world) sitting the bench for the whole season as opposed to being a ‘star’ starting on junior varsity.
|Landon’s junior basketball season, 2017-2018…|
But I can be wrong occasionally. Yes, occasionally. Landon actually played quite a bit that season and had a pivotal impact on the team. (Really no surprise there. He’s had a basketball in his hands since he was 3. And made exceptional shots since then too).
|Ball has always been at home in his hands. Landon, 2001…|
I never just decided to keep track of how Landon was doing in every game. It simply morphed from loose scraps of paper in my purse during the first couple of games to this dorky little notebook that I dread seeing coming to an end. (I’m not ready for his high school career to end. How about a do-over)? Yet I dare not change one iota of my own quirky way of being Landon’s statistician through the rest of high school either now. Can’t risk jinxing anything.
|Taking a shot during a high school halftime, 2007…|
Landon’s junior season of basketball is over. I don’t know if he feels as anticlimactic or a bit dissatisfied about the year as I do. There were many changes, ups and downs. A new head coach (verdict is still out as far as I’m concerned, not really impressed) new players, some good, some not. Got to mention a player that really had an impact on the Pioneer team. He transferred from New Mexico I think. His name is Kasean, a junior like Landon this year. He and Landon clicked on and off the court. Kasean’s (Kay-son) good, tough underneath, has a nice jumper, and surprisingly accurate from the 3 point line in the corner. He’s tall, maybe 6’ 8” and slender. He’d look so much better (as would I) and play a little tougher if he’d take 20 pounds from me. But that’s never the way these things work. I look at cake and gain weight, Kasean eats the back of a pickup bed full of pizza, plays basketball for 20 minutes and is down 4 pounds. Just shoot me now. Like most beanpole guys, his strong suit is not dribbling down the court. Just too much space between his bounce and the floor. I think Pioneer might be a better team next year. The weirdest thing about Kasean is he reminds me of my Dad. It’s his thumbs when he runs. He holds his thumb exactly like my Dad always did (though Dad was not running of course).
|Kasean, 2018 Pioneer basketball team…|
I guess I really wasn’t ready for this season to end. Big surprise there. After missing a couple weeks in January while we were in Arizona, I was so anxious to get back in the basketball saddle, while Landon was in the middle of healing a bad ankle sprain. Good news, I missed nothing when we were gone. Bad news, he couldn’t play for another week after we got back. Long drought, though the Pioneers won 2 of the 5 while Landon was injured. When he did come back it was with limited minutes for another week.
|A long 3 for Landon, 2018…|
So getting back to my lacking stat abilities. I’ve been known not to mark Landon’s missed shots, turnovers or fouls (though he has very few, I really hate writing them on his sheet). I do a little better with assists, rebounds, and steals. But I never miss any of his point totals. Ever. Until I did just that. Had him down for 28 in a superb game (which we lost), when evidently he scored 31 points. What has happened to my world? I’ve been right as rain in his scoring when the paper’s been wrong about his point total more than once. Every year. But somehow I missed an amazing 3 pointer during that Skyline game. Damn. Need to get my mojo back before AAU starts in a few weeks (though none of those games goes in ‘the notebook’-that’s only for his high school games).
At the end of the regular season for his freshman and sophomore years, both ending with the Pioneers as Conference champs, tournament play, districts and regionals kept their season going for another couple weeks. This year with a record of 500, it was one-&-done once the tourney started. Not a good way to end the year. The good news is the team that beat us in Districts is still in the running (and we’ve had their number for the last couple years). Hope they go all the way. Landon has some good friends on their team.
|My notebook full of Landon’s basketball career-so far…|
I don’t know how to average his point total per game exactly. Oh, I should add up his points for the year, divided up by the number of games he played in. But that doesn’t seem fair or very accurate. With 32 minutes in each game, when Landon played 28 minutes or more, he averaged 22 points a game through 9 games. Pretty incredible right? In 4 lopsided games, playing 20-22 minutes he averaged 19 points. The reason behind these games is because we were so far ahead, there’s no reason to keep any starters in. And it’s the right thing to do. Let others on the team get some much needed playing time. Rest the work horses and save them for when they’re really needed later. Through 3 games he was on limited minutes or restricted by the Doc to go easy on that ankle. In those 3 games, playing less than half the time, he averaged 9 per game. Not bad. If I double the minutes, his point total would have probably been somewhere between the 19-22 range. Maybe it doesn’t make much difference. So taking his total points for the year, divided by 16 games, (he missed 5 games with the ankle) his average is 19 points. I believe that’s up about 5 points a game since his sophomore year. Nice. Dude.
|I’m not the only one thinking he’s gonna to be great…|
After a couple weeks rest, Landon will play AAU (Amateur Athletic Union-a travel basketball league with tournaments all over the US during the spring and summer) for some lucky team for the final time in the 17 & Under division. We only attend about 3 tournaments per season. The style of play is different, more showy, more dunks, not as many set plays. But it is a lot of fun to watch. They sometimes end up playing 3 or 4 games A DAY, so it’s exhausting. And I’m only watching and keeping track of L’s totals. But with all the hoopla (big time college coaches from all over attend, watching certain players they may need in the future). It all starts with a cunning guard, leading the way down court. Without turnovers, making amazing passes, assists, taking good shots when the time is right and feeding other players, making them better too. An amazing point guard named Landon…
|The softer side of Uncle Drew with Jovi, 2017…|