New Player Profile: Marisa

This photo captures basketball not being played by Marisa.

This photo captures basketball not being played by Marisa.

Marisa has never played basketball at lunch. This has not kept her from insisting that she is going to play as soon as possible. Throughout some four years working with the Lunchsketball fellows, she has had an excuse each and every day for why it happens to be that she can’t play.

It is a shame that she doesn’t play, because reportedly she is a natural. It starts with her background: Marisa hails from the storied basketball powerhouse that is Brea Olinda High School. The basketball heritage runs rich and deep in those parts. The men’s team, for instance, is remembered for their inspired run to the 2000 CIF Southern Section championship game, where they were completely and thoroughly humiliated and destroyed by a Dominguez Hills High School (Compton) team led by Tyson Chandler and Tayshaun Prince. As for the women, the Brea Ladycats have been dominating girls’ basketball for years. See “Decades of Success” under the Brea Olinda Wikipedia page.

Marisa claims to have been a ballyhooed prodigy within the Ladycats program sometime around fourth grade. She had actually played her way to a “5” NJB rating amongst the scouts (5 is quite near the ceiling for the National Junior Basketball ratings, in case you live under a rock and don’t know that). She eventually chose to drop basketball in favor of soccer, breaking the heart of her coach. He was so distraught that he banished her from even casual participation in the Brea basketball program. She was basically the Jimmy Chitwood of Southern California 4th grade girls’ basketball.

NAME: Marisa, aka “Shep”
FAVORITE TEAMS: Steelers, Lakers, Yankees, Cobra Kai, Goliath

For all her credentials, she has just as many reasons that she can’t play Lunchsketball. First she was too busy with work. As soon as she got a job that let her get away at lunch, she tore an ACL playing soccer. Then she had the ACL surgery. For the next 2 years, she needed to recover from ACL surgery. One day she actually said she’d play in the morning, but later changed her mind. Shortly thereafter, she was engaged, and couldn’t risk an injury leading up to the wedding. Next, she was with child, and refused to play. Excuses, excuses, excuses. That unborn kid is going to play Lunchsketball before Marisa ever does.

John Stuns in 2013 Season Debut

Soul-searching in South America.

Soul-searching in South America.

EL CAJON — At the outset of 2013, Lunchsketball set a participation goal for John, aka “Versace”, in this “year in review” article. Since then, you’ve received periodic updates about John’s progress toward reaching his resolution of 10 games played during the year 2013. After more than 3 months, it is happily reported that John has finally made a step toward that daunting goal.

For a while there, John seemed to be gone, without even a musty bundle of used sports laundry, wadded in the corner of the shower room, by which to remember him. He had disappeared into an “Eat Pray Love” sort of self-finding odyssey – traveling to Brazil to watch soccer games, taking up ping-pong, and going for solitary, mind-clearing jogs through the natural splendor of San Diego’s east county region.

During one of these runs on Thursday, he stopped by the basketball court. He was greeted with an outburst of enthusiasm from the other players, because he was wearing running gear, which looks just like basketball gear, and already arguments began as to which team would pick him up. Amidst the cheers, John walked around the outside of the court, taking care not to set foot on the pavement.

“Baby steps,” he proclaimed.  John, not wanting to rush back, let the players know that his participation was going to be limited during his first game of 2013. In fact, he only stayed for about 20 minutes, all of which he spent sitting on the picnic bench behind the baseline, making smart remarks at the guys actually playing.

He requested that this event be counted toward his 2013 tally, as tracked by the Lunchsketball blog. Out of appreciation for his acknowledgement of the blog, and also in hopes of encouraging additional, more active appearances, it has been decided that this does in fact count as John’s first game of 2013. Congratulations John! Just 9 games to go.

Pickup Lines: How To Speak Pickup Basketball

In the first installment of “Pickup Lines“, the phrase “belly D” was defined (the exposing of one’s belly to distract an opponent). That post was expected to be the first in a  whole series of similar articles examining the meaning of words and phrases often overheard on a pickup basketball court. What was not expected was that in the weeks to follow the publishing of that post, it emerged as a top-ranking result for the Google search terms “basketball pickup lines” or “pickup lines for basketball players“.

According to WordPress analytics, Lunchsketball has been pulling in a lot of customers in this manner. As it turns out, on a typical day at least one person, somewhere in the world, turns to the internet in search of the magic words to lure that special baller into their life. How sad to think of the lonely souls out there who have their hopes lifted by that misleading Lunchsketball headline, only to be disappointed (although enriched, intellectually, at the same time) by a detailed description of belly D.

There really does appear to be a lack of good basketball pickup lines out there on the internet. Readers, take a look for yourselves, and what do you find? Bawdy sewage, like “You can put your ball in my hoop anytime.”

There must be self-respecting women out there who turn to Lunchsketball for help, and it is intolerable to continue to disappoint them. Now, as a matter of professionalism, the journalistic lens of Lunchsketball keeps a tight focus on the game that is played in El Cajon. Well, fasten your seatbelt, because this blog is about to make a rare exception and veer way off-topic, in the name of love.

love and basketballThese are all-original pickup lines. That means they’ve never been used before, so you’ve got the element of surprise! Ladies, you’re working with charm-dynamite here, and things could get serious, fast. So be careful. Without further ado, here are your pickup lines, along with some helpful delivery tips in italics:

  • “You’re so short, you must play guard. Want to guard and protect me and the children we may one day welcome into our lives?”
  • “I hear you’re a great dribbler. Me too. There’s a whole puddle over there where I was dribbling over you, hon’.”
  • “Is your name Kevin? Because I think I Love you.” Works best in Minnesota, or near UCLA. 
  • “Hey big guy, you’ve really got an exceptionally pure shot. We’d make a cute couple, cuz I happen to be an exceptionally pure woman.”
  • “Are you from Cleveland, because I’m digging that Cavalier attitude.”
  • “I can tell you must spend a lot of time on the court. It’s your lucky day, because I’m looking for somebody who loves me enough to follow an elaborate court-ship process, and that may take years!” Make sure to emphasize the “court” in the “courtship”, otherwise a great pun could get lost in there.
  • “Hey sugar-buns, do you play Center? Wanna be the center of my attention?
  • “Sweetie-pumpkin, you got so much game, you must be a natural. Want to come with me to listen to a speaker on Natural Family Planning? It’s Thursday at 6:30 in the parish hall.” Again, watch that pun!

Look, us basketball players are just people too. Don’t get yourself too hung up on working in a basketball-specific pun. The key is just to use a really outstanding pun. It doesn’t have to be about basketball. If all else fails, fall back on this one:

“Hey is your name Google? Because you’re everything I’m searching for.”

This has all been offered for free. The only favor expected in return is for you to share the success stories here at the blog. And also, if you could invite Jim to the wedding receptions, that would be nice because he appreciates a good bar. Now good luck out there!

Week(s) In Review: Weeks 13 and 14

We Already Have a George

There have been some different faces around Lunchsketball lately. George, aka “Jorge”, has been joined by a new-comer named Jourge, who prefers to go by “George”. He arrived at the court mid-game one week. George, aka “Jorge”, shrewdly added Jourge, aka “George” to the roster, and the dual dragon-slayer team stormed back from trailing 31-48, scoring 16 unanswered points for the win. Jourge continues to play now on a regular basis.

Another new player is Gary’s relative (nephew?) Michael, who first appeared last summer, but had to leave for school in the fall. He has two shots that are particularly lethal here: three pointers and running floaters. The older, fartier guys who play this game all have one way that they like to play defense. That can be described as mostly standing around in the key and swinging at their opponents as they pass by. This defense is no good for three pointers, because the three point line is too far from the key, and so that’s unstoppable.  The running floater would be defend-able,  except Michael weighs approximately 85 pounds, and so swatting him out of the sky seems unconscionable, even for Kerry. Long story short, the San Diego school system had spring break, which meant Michael was back in El Cajon, terrorizing the senior citizens of Lunchsketball.

Power Rankings Presented By Gary

Gary is on sabbatical indefinitely from the Power Rankings Presented by Gary, citing an uncomfortable amount of pressure and responsibility, and also claiming that the Power Rankings have changed the tone of Lunchsketball for the worse, as the players became over-focused on their individual rankings, and let the rankings hurt the game.