Posted by Amy with No Comments
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I’ve played basketball almost my entire life. At the age of 6 I was picking up a leather ball that was as big as my torso and heaving it at a circular rim 10 feet above the ground only to watch it reach its apex, then plummet back down towards my face without hitting either the rim or the backboard. By the time I was 10 years old, basketball had become a mainstay in my life. I was in leagues, I played at recess during school, and I was outside every single day, rain or shine, imitating the likes of my favorite NBA stars. At that age, what attracted me to the game was the precision that the sport demanded. It was the fact that I could shoot all night long and no matter how many balls went through that hoop, I could still get better. It became an addiction that consumed my adolescent life. I was in love with the game and nothing else mattered but the feeling that I got when I watched that ball go through that rim. I had no idea how much more the game had to offer.
I think I was about 12 when my neighbor and best friend Eric came home from the sporting goods store with a brand new mini-trampoline. I remember the excitement and anticipation as we pulled it out of its box and set it on the concrete about six feet in front of the basketball hoop in his back yard. Until that very moment, the only experience we had with the act of dunking was watching the big guys on television throw down spectacular windmills and 360s while we sat with our jaws on the floor. But that was all about to change. I’ll never forget what it was like to be looking DOWN at the rim for the first time ever. The adrenaline rush, the fear and elation that flooded my entire body and mind has I hammered down my first one-handed tomahawk jam. I’ve only smiled at one other thing like that since…..
I’m 22 now, and for the time being (probably not too much longer) I can dunk without the help of a trampoline. Sure, it’s an incredible feeling. There aren’t too many things that quite compare, in life or on the court. But nothing can make your heart race like putting the ball through the hoop from above the backboard instead of below. That feeling, I believe, has finally been captured by SLAMBALL. I’ll be honest, the first time I turned on the television and saw a man in full body pads rocketing 15 feet into the air to dunk a basketball into a padded rim on a court surrounded by plexiglass, I laughed. I didn’t know how else to react, the only thing I could think to do is laugh like an idiot while I continued to stare at the television. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Then another man picked up the ball and started dribbling toward the opposite side of the court, only to be met with a forearm shiver from an opposing player that almost knocked him clean off his feet. After that, all it took was one mid-air collision between two players and I was hooked. SLAMBALL had captured everything that I loved about the game of basketball, and combined it with the brutality and force every player wishes they could project on an opposing player on that court. It introduced an entirely new aerial influence to the game, highlighting the grace and finesse that captivates an audience. It turned a relatively harmless and non-physical game into a dangerous, extreme sport that demands toughness unmatched in any other sport. SLAMBALL instantly put that smile back on my face. I felt like a kid again, giddy and excited for something that could give me an experience like nothing else in the sporting world. I was hooked. And I still am.