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 the case 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.

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