Chapter 22:

Foul Trouble.

64


ManhattanBookmark here

New York City, New YorkBookmark here

USABookmark here

Before the game, the coach of Manhattan University’s boys’ basketball team gave his team a little pep talk.Bookmark here

“Look here, guys. Galveston Tech is a relatively new college and new team in the world of collegiate basketball. They’re probably getting eliminated in the first round of the NCAA! But don’t slack off! Go out there and win!”Bookmark here

“On three! One! Two! Three! LET’S GO MANHATTAN!”Bookmark here

The team cheered and stepped onto the court.Bookmark here

“Where’s Galveston Tech? They late?” asked Odai Beckham Jr.Bookmark here

“They arrived barely five minutes ago. Probably getting changed.”Bookmark here

Galveston Tech didn’t look very intimidating at all. They walked onto the court, greeted the Manhattan University players, and started unpacking their stuff on the visitor’s bench.Bookmark here

Suddenly, someone caught Odai’s eye. He turned to his teammates. “Who’s that guy?”Bookmark here

“I don’t know, man. Never seen him before.”Bookmark here

“He’s probably the mascot.”Bookmark here

“No, he’s got a jersey on.”Bookmark here

The Galveston Tech player didn’t look like a basketball player at all. He was short and wiry with medium length hair. He seemed to be of Asian descent and looked to be about 5’4. Odai squinted to read his name and jersey number.Bookmark here

IchikawaBookmark here

1Bookmark here

“Oh,” thought Odai. “He’s Japanese.”Bookmark here

A much bigger guy went over to talk to Ichikawa. The two fist-bumped each other and started to talk.Bookmark here

“Wait,” said Odai’ teammate. “Isn’t that Chad Brown? He almost won the All-Texas Sixth-Man (1) Award!”Bookmark here

“What’s he doing with Galveston Tech?”Bookmark here

“Beats me.”Bookmark here

“Alright, everyone! Let’s start the game!” yelled the referee.Bookmark here

Odai grunted. “Alright, guys. Let’s win!”Bookmark here

*Bookmark here

Things went wrong straight away. Bookmark here

Odai received a pass from his teammate. He looked around to see his defender but couldn’t see anyone. Bookmark here

“Ha!” thought Odai. “I’m wide open for a dunk!”Bookmark here

He charged at the basket with such ferocity, he scared the entire Galveston team. But it didn’t go to plan.Bookmark here

THUMP.Bookmark here

Odai’s leg hit something hard, sending it reeling to the ground. Bookmark here

“Offensive foul! (2) Manhattan, number three! Galveston gets possession!” yelled the ref.Bookmark here

Wait, offensive foul?Bookmark here

Odai looked down to see Ichikawa on the ground. “Wait, how did I not see him?” he thought  furiously.Bookmark here

Suddenly, his brain clicked.Bookmark here

“Don’t tell me! He used his height to his advantage! He used the fact that I am 6’11 against me? He wasn’t even in my field of vision because of my height!"Bookmark here

Odai ran to play defense, where he found himself guarding Ichikawa. “Ha! You’re not going anywhere!” he thought.Bookmark here

Ichikawa had other ideas. Bookmark here

He threw a bullet pass between Odai’s legs with such speed that he couldn’t react. Chad Brown caught the pass and dunked the ball hard.Bookmark here

2-0.Bookmark here

“Now he used my long legs against me?” thought Odai angrily.Bookmark here

On offense, Odai caught the ball. This time, he looked down to see Ichikawa guarding him. “Really? 5’4 against 6’11?” he mused.Bookmark here

He saw no open teammates and decided to shoot a three-pointer. He lauched the ball way above Ichikawa’s reach in a high arc.Bookmark here

BANG.Bookmark here

The ball hit the side of the rim and Chad Brown caught it. He threw a pass to Ichikawa. Odai ran at him and tried to stop him.Bookmark here

Ichikawa was faster.Bookmark here

He raised his hands to shoot. Odai jumped in front, trying to stop him. But he didn’t shoot. He waited for Odai to land on the ground again. Then, he took a shot.Bookmark here

SWISH.Bookmark here

Ichikawa had scored. A three pointer, nonetheless.Bookmark here

“Wow,” thought Odai. “He can shoot.”Bookmark here

Odai once again found Ichikawa guarding him. He tried to get low for a powerful drive to the rim.Bookmark here

THUD.Bookmark here

Odai’s long leg, when bent, got Ichikawa square in the abdomen with his knee. He fell to the ground in pain.Bookmark here

“Offensive foul! Manhattan, number three! Galveston ball!” yelled the referee.Bookmark here

“Another offensive foul?” cursed Odai.Bookmark here

Odai turned around to see Ichikawa running to the other end for a layup. “OH NO YOU DON’T!” he yelled.Bookmark here

Odai’s long legs covered so much ground with such speed that even his own coach was shell-shocked. He leapt at the Japanese point-guard, determined to stop him. He swung his hand at the ball.Bookmark here

WHACK.Bookmark here

Ichikawa cleverly twisted his arm to let his own hand come in contact with Odai’s hand instead of the ball. “Ref!” he yelled.Bookmark here

“Foul! Manhattan, number three! Two free-throws!” yelled the ref.Bookmark here

Odai’s coach leapt off the bench. “Player substitution! For number three!”Bookmark here

Odai went back to the bench with three fouls in the first five minutes.Bookmark here

“God, that guy!” he fumed.Bookmark here

After Odai left, the game got worse for his team.Bookmark here

Galveston Tech led 67-51 at halftime.Bookmark here

“Oh no,” thought Odai. “We’re in trouble!”Bookmark here

EndnotesBookmark here

1. Sixth-Man: The sixth man in basketball is a player who is not a starter but comes off the bench much more often than other reserves, often being the first player to be substituted in.Bookmark here

2. Offensive Foul: An offensive foul in basketball is a foul committed by an offensive player whose team is in possession of the ball. No free throws are awarded after an offensive foul; instead, the ball is awarded to the offended team out of bounds near wherever the foul was committed.Bookmark here

Manhattan Number Three is basically Odai's team and jersey number. Referees normally refer to players like this during a game.Bookmark here

Author’s NoteBookmark here

There won’t be any chapters for the next two days as I have exams to study for. Hope everyone likes the story. I’ll be back in two days with a new chapter. Until then, stay tuned!Bookmark here

~srj5.Bookmark here

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