Posted as a Daily Prompt.
“We were bringing the ball down the court and I looked over at the scorer’s table and there’s five guys waiting to come in. I charged for the basket, stopped, and backed up to about 25 feet from the basket. I was wide open. I got the ball and didn’t think twice; I let it go.”
“Did it go in?” Millie said.
“You betcha,” Charley said. “And a minute later I was out of the game.”
“That night two of the reserves said they were ready to go back with the team,” Charley said. “They thanked me and gave me a check for $50.”
“What did you do with the money?” Millie said.
“Nothing,” Charley said. “I never cashed the check. I hitched hiked back home.”
“What ever happened to the check?” Millie said.
“See that book on my bookshelf,” Charley said pointing. “The middle shelf; the title is Basketball’s Greats. Get it down and look inside.”
Millie did as Charley said.
“The check!” Millie said. “It’s made out to you from the Rochester Royals.”
“I get that out and look at it every now and then,” Charley said. “Each time I look at it, it’s for 3 minutes and 17 seconds. I relive every second of that time. I never want to forget it.”
“That’s awesome grandpa,” Millie said.
“In the back of the book is the box score of the game,” Charley said.
“Why didn’t they give you another chance?” Millie said. “Are you bitter?”
“Never bitter,” Charley said. “I got 3 minutes and 17 seconds most men will never have. But if I could I’d sure like to have at least one more minute.”
“What would you have done with it?” Millie said
“I’d have faked the shot, dribbled right, and stopped about fifteen feet from the basket and shot another.”
“Why not go in for a lay-up?” Millie said.
“The Knicks had this big guy named Ray Felix,” Charley said. “He had arms like an octopus; I didn’t want to embarrass him.”
“I’m glad you never cashed that check,” Millie said.
“I cash it, alright,” Charley said, “every time I pick it up.”