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by November 16, 2007
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This probably won’t interest you.

I was recently recruited for a charity event, the United Way Charity Stripe Challenge, which works like this: All the different departments within the university entered three-person teams for a free-throw shooting contest. Each person shoots 25 shots, for a total of 75 per team. Each of us was supposed to encourage our non-shooting co-workers to donate money on our behalf. Donations could be a single, set amount, or a certain amount per shot.

I encouraged my co-workers to donate a set amount, so as not to unnecessarily punish the needy children of Central Pennsylvania for my inability to make an uncontested 15-foot set shot. I haven’t played a lot of ball since I moved up here. Plus, some people know I used to work at SLAM and expect me to be good at basketball. In the face of such expecations, I lacked confidence.

The shootout was yesterday afternoon, at Penn State’s Intramural building. College kids ran pick-up on the three adjacent courts while we—a mix of university employees, most of whom appeared older and less basketball-savvy than I—warmed up. Then it was time. We shot as a team, the three of us each getting five “official” warm-up shots, then rotating through, five shots at a time, until we were done. I went first.

I made 19 of 25. Today, I walk with my head held high. My man Jayson, who works down the hall from me, hit his first 11 and finished with 21. I told him if he hit 20, I’d write about it on slamonline. Nice work, Jay.

I told you this probably wouldn’t interest you.