I love being a detective. I love the spontaneity, the danger, the camaraderie, and that feeling you get when you lock up a wanted criminal. Most people assume being a detective is my “dream job." I tend to agree, but I’ve also been pursuing another passion and dream since childhood... to become a professional basketball player.
This dream began when I was just a little tyke—slam dunking/jumping off of my parents couch while imitating players from my favorite team, the New York Knicks. It was also about that time when my second grade teacher went around the room and asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Most boys said Michael Jackson. Many girls said Mary Lou Retton (it was right after the 1984 Olympics). Me, I always stuck to my idol—number thirty-three of the New York Knicks, Patrick Ewing. Over time everyone else’s dreams changed to something like orthopedic surgeon, stockbroker, or salesman, but mine never disappeared or faded… just temporarily placed on the back burner.
I know what you’re thinking; I’m slightly shorter than the average basketball player. But, I can tell you from experience, natural basketball skills and agility can surpass anything. For example, in college I played on the club basketball team, not intramural—club, there’s a HUGE difference. I wasn’t a starter, but that changed when I showed up to our final game and was thrust into the guard position after our team captain broke his ankle from “bungee jumping” out of a tree the previous night (that’s a whole other story). After I heard I’d been upped to starter, the only word that came to mind was fate—my fate that is… to get in there and win the game for the team. Admittedly, the game didn’t go exactly how I envisioned it, but in my defense, it took some time to adjust to the opposing team’s offense. But with two points down, and one second on the clock, it was finally my time to shine. I found myself on the three-point line with the leather ball in hand. I literally closed my eyes and took the shot, everything was in slow motion… the ball bricked hard off the backboard, violently hit the metal rim, proceeded to swirl, and then fell right into the net, swoosh. Like I said, fate.
Since my heyday on the court in college, I’ve been a little too busy solving crime and spending time with Jenny to be able to fully focus on my skills. Now, as I’m careening toward the age when most professional players tend to retire, I’m still clutching on to that dream that one day I’ll hear my name announced over the speakers at Madison Square Garden. Until then, I’ll continue to settle for my weekly and extremely competitive pick up games with Javi. And who knows, maybe I’ll finally join the precinct basketball team one day. I’ve heard they’ve been hurting.