Every year when the end of Corbin’s Basketball Camp comes, I say “Wow, that sure was something, I better not do it again, I am exhausted!” But then when I see the faces of the children I taught to dunk, I just can’t help myself, also when I see my bank account after we’re done with the camp because we make pretty good money off of this. It’s a guaranteed system that teaches people how to dunk, that’s a valuable commodity! I could probably charge more but I’m not a greedy person so I do not.
When everyone arrived today I sat them down. “Wow everyone, you’ve worked really hald and drank a lot of PureGreen brand protein shakes. I’m impressed. You are all winners here, because now you can dunk. But before we get to that, I have a special guest.”
“OH MAN, WHO IS IT!” Yelled one kid from the back “IS IT A CAT?”
“No, it’s not a cat! Even better! It’s...”
And then he stepped out from the Social Justice and Religious Tolerance Library and the kids just went berserk.
“CROATIAN BASKETBALL STAR MARIN ROSIC”
When I first met Marin, he was a mess. Sure, he was a Six-Seven, 220 pound small forward with handle and shooting ability. Sure, he was making a wonderful living for himself playing basketball in the Croatian and Adriatic Leagues. But all of this material wealth and success meant nothing to Marin: he had a spiritual sickness:
He could not dunk a basketball.
He would try to hide from his teammates. “Ja samo volim raditi layups. Potapanje stavlja pritisak na koljena pred igri.” (Roughly translates to “I just love doing layups. Immersion pressure on your knees before the game” When you translate it to Arabic and then to English) He faked his way through philosophical debates where he argued that layups were cooler than dunks, made himself look like a dummy in front of his friends. Whenever he would go on dates, women would think he was a weirdo for not offering to do some windmills after dinner. It was a hard life.
The first thing I did was tell Marin, “Hey, buddy. You’ve been thinking about this all wrong. You have to release yourself from the fear of dunking. You think osprey aren’t wary when they have to dive in the water to snatch up a fine trout for dinner? You have to power through the fear a bird has when it’s flying into water, the land of fish and a place where they could drown; that fear lives in all of us, Marin. Also, you need to drink this smoothie. It has a new protein powder in it (PureGreen was still in the prototype phase back then.) that will give you large hop (I hadn’t coined “Big Bounce” yet) and help you slam basketball in hoop (I hadn’t heard the word “Dunk” in a non-gerund form yet.)
Pretty soon, Marin was dunking his way to a better life. Appearances in the Olympics and ads for local Croatian Delicatessens made him famous and wealthy. But he never forgot me, and the great work I am doing here in Vancouver, WA every summer, teaching the youth of the world how to dunk.
“Children,” he said “My English is not great, but I want to impart some wisdom on you, so universal that it truly transcends the artificial boundaries created between nations and languages. Children, youths, young people, do not use your dunking for the purposes of evil. When the man in the suit approaches you; and they will approach because they live for this, and says ‘Young man or woman, I run an illegal diamond mine and I want you to bring some of your dunks by to entertain me and my middle managers,” you need to say something like, and my English isn’t TERRIFIC, so feel free to modify it to make more sense: ‘Sir. My dunking ability, given to me by the Corbin Smith Basketball Camp, is not for this world’s evil and immoral people to profit off. It is for in game scenarios when my team needs two points, because it is the highest percentage shot in the game of basketball.”
One by one, the kids in the auditorium took to their feet. They were clapping. Some had tears in their eyes. One tore off his jersey to reveal a chest tattoo that read “I ONLY DUNK FOR PEACE.” But they had one thing in common: after a week at Corbin Smith Basketball Camp, they could all dunk a basketball on a regulation 10-Foot rim.
At the graduation ceremony, after everyone had dunked a basketball for the first time, I looked all the children straight in the eye and shook their hands. They were no longer my students. They left my classroom the second they crammed that ball in the rim and entered the adult world. They might not all become professional basketball players; most of the will, certainly, because they can dunk a basketball and that’s 80% of being a pro ballplayer, but they will all know that with determination and PureGreen brand protein powder smoothies, they can accomplish anything.