When Will I Hit My Basketball Peak?
The wonders of age.
by Kevin Owens / @Waiting4Godunk
Hey everyone, sorry for the lapse in writing, but this past month has been extremely busy — well, not really that busy — more thought provoking. You see, this June I turned 30 years old. Now that I am 30 I can’t help but feel like there is more to life than submitting a weekly blog, riddled with spelling errors, documenting my hopes and dreams. There isn’t by the way.
My god, 30 years old. I remember growing up thinking how anyone over 14 was considered old. Mainly because a group of 14-year-olds, appropriately nicknamed “The Dudes” by my siblings and I, used to chase me on my bike, push me over, and generally make my daily bike rides a living hell.
The last thing I thought I would be doing at this age was attending the same exposure camps I went to directly out of college. But with my recent string of bad luck in this business, I am doing whatever is necessary to show my basketball worth. If it means putting my ego aside for a few months, then so be it. With my new-found attitude in tow, I attended two tryouts in June.
The first was for a team in China that held a tryout in Philadelphia a few weeks ago. Now, I’ve been to quite a few tryouts over my career and they usually begin the same way. I walk through the door and the record screeches to a stop a la The Deltas in Animal House. When you are a white dude in professional basketball, you are the minority. I feel like I am already written off by some of my peers prior to stepping foot on the court. Here I am some tall white guy wearing flip flops like I just walked off the beach. I guess I don’t come off as intimidating.
Fortunately, I have been in this game for quite some time and love being the underdog. Needless to say I performed pretty well at this workout. After the workout I spoke to my agent who was also impressed with my performance. Team representatives approached us with some questions for me. Obviously the first question asked was the one I was trying to avoid: “How old are you?” Immediately I began thinking of a way to change the age on my passport like I did in high school. (ATTENTION AUTHORITIES: I did not really try to change my passport when I was in high school. I may or may not have changed my birthday in pen, as well as shaded a beard around my face in pencil on my high school ID in order to buy beer for my friends to impress a girl.) Once I told them my age, however, they continued talking to me. I guess it’s not like the NBA when once you are 24 you are considered ‘old.’
I then ventured down to Northern Virginia, this past week, for a European exposure camp. This was not a single workout, but a three-day tryout in front of numerous European scouts. I ended up playing well again in this camp…In fact I played so well I was given one of the odder compliments I have ever received. I was told that I get better the older I get. That’s a fairly normal compliment…when I was 21. But now that I am over the pro basketball hill, I find it a little odd.
I have always been a late developer. In high school, I was as skinny as I should have been in grade school. In college, like I should have been in high school. And now that I am a pro, my body is how I wish it was in college. So what’s the deal? Am I aging in some sort of dog year system? I think I need to make an appointment with The Biggest Loser’s Dr. Rob Huizenga. Maybe he can tell me what my “internal clock” reads. When will I hit my basketball peak? How great will it be if I don’t peak until I am in my late 40s? I would love to write a crazy letter to various NBA teams explaining my situation. In fact, I’ll give it a shot now:
Dear NBA Coaches/Scouts/GMs:
I know at the moment, the NBA does not have any 48-year-old rookies…YET. Well sir (madam?), I am about to blow your mind…You see, I am 48 and I’m amazing! Please take some time to allow that information to sink in…
So as I was saying, I am currently 48 years old and am in the best basketball shape of my life. I know what you are thinking; “But how can a 48-year-old compete against a 20-year-old?” Valid question, to which my response is: I am amazing!
The physical makeup of my body is highly unusual. My physicians (and my mom) have dubbed my condition, The Benjamin Button Syndrome (my mom loves Brad Pitt…not sure about the physicians). I apparently am aging backwards. I have felt the frailties of an old man when I was just 17. I weighed 180 pounds, and walked with a slight (large) hunch. Now that I am 48, my knee/back pains are a thing of the past.
I encourage you to jump on to this once in a lifetime opportunity, while I still am in my prime. Who knows when adolescence will set in, my voice will begin to crack, and my chest hair, which grew because of my father’s encouragement to eat certain “manly foods,” will start to fall out.
I know letters like this do not arrive on your office desk everyday. Let’s do the right thing here gentlemen (ladies?). Let’s make us all rich beyond our wildest imagination. I know I am up for it. Now it is up to you.