Chapter 5:

The Aula of Basketball

Would You Paint My Dunk

With my strong desire to arrive at the basketball club as soon as possible, I quickly navigated through the school pavements, looking where the basketball club would be held.

Shortly, I arrived at a place that was the sports section of the university. There are two tennis courts, a football field, and several closed halls. A few students were playing in each area against each other, and a few people were chanting a few players’ names.

Well, I don’t care. I only come here for basketball anyway.

As I walked towards the halls, the sounds of shoes squeaking and basketball bouncing off the ground reached my ears. Raring to go, I dashed to Sport Aula 3 to play basketball, only to find out that the big basketball field had already been occupied.

Ten upperclassmen were playing against each other, each wearing a variant of the Astro Jets’ uniform. One is red with white stripes, and one is white with red stripes.

On the sideline, there stood a man wearing a white cap, blue shirt, and jeans. With that attire, I could only assume that he is the university’s coach.

“Keep going! Slam it! That’s it!”

In a few moments, he blew his whistle and shouted, “Everyone, listen up!”

Every upperclassman stopped practicing and quickly gathered in front of their coach.

“Jake, you need to rotate quicker. You’re too late in covering the screenplay,”

Taking a quick look, he is a scrawny student around 6’3” tall, probably a Shooting Guard. He fit a position that relied on running around to find an opening to shoot.

“Ivan, you need to pay attention to your surroundings. You’re missing out on many plays you could have executed, such as setting screens against your opponents.” He gave a pointer to a guy in his 6’8”.

I guess this is what it means to be a Power Forward. With his height, he easily fits a position where you need to battle it out below the rim, and he would easily dunk the ball in.

“That’s all! Take five!”

The upperclassmen quickly moved to the benches on the sides of the Aula. Each of them grabbed a white towel to wipe off their sweat. One of the guys took a blue water bottle and drank from it as he sat on the bench.

Looking over at the bench, I noticed the guy I had met earlier on the bulletin board was sitting there. Happy to see a familiar face, I decided to greet him.

“Hey, Carlos!”

Upon hearing my greeting, he stood up and walked towards me. When he reached me, he gave me a bro hug and tapped my back with his right hand.

“Yo! Wassup man!”

He quickly released his hand and returned to his seat on the bench. I followed suit and sat down as well.

Looking around, I noticed several students gathered and seated on the benches. It seemed that they were also freshmen like us.

“So, those people would be our rivals, huh?”

“Well, I have to compete with them. As for you, only that guy could be your rival.” He pointed his right finger toward a guy.

Looking at the guy that Carlos pointed at, I was shocked. He is a chestnut-skinned guy with black blowout hair. At a glance, I could tell he was bigger and taller than me. I started to feel nervous if I could make it to the bench.

As I was contemplating, I heard the sound of a whistle.

“Freshmen, gather up!”

Carlos quickly stood up, and I followed suit. A line formed in front of the coach, and we promptly queued. He stood in the front right corner, and I was beside him.

“Okay, I want you students to specify your name, experience, and preferred position. Start from the front-right corner, guy, you!” The coach pointed his right finger to Carlos.

“My name is Carlos Stewards, and I’m about six feet and one inch tall. I used to play in the high school league as a Point Guard. I prefer to be a Point Guard, but I can play as a Shooting Guard or a Small Forward if necessary.”

“Did he just say Small Forward? He is so short. What can he do?” Sneered a freshman in the line, followed by waves of laughter from others.

“Ha-ha, does he think that imitating his dreadlock hair like Sprewell makes him one? Small Forward? Pfft! It’s so funny!” One other student continued to ridicule him.

Small Forward is a position where it’s a middle ground between tall players and short players. Technically jack-of-all-trades, this position is suited for those that aren’t that tall but are very nimble and good with ball handling.

Meanwhile, the Point Guard is a position played by a nimble player who excels in playmaking and ball-handling. It’s a position at the heart of the offense, and it doesn’t require people to be tall.

That said, I think it fits Carlos perfectly…


The rowdy atmosphere suddenly turned quiet following the coach’s shout.

“Listen up!” The coach shouted as he walked around. “I don’t care where you come from. I don’t care about your trivial stuff. We are here to play basketball, and your performance is all I care about. Is that clear?”

“Yes, coach!” All of the freshmen shouted firmly, including me.

“I’m glad you all understand. Next!”

My turn to introduce myself came. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to introduce myself proudly and firmly to the coach.

“My name is Keith Wallace. I’m about 6 foot 6 inches tall. I was the Power Forward in my high school days. I wish to be a Forward here. Thank you for your attention.”

“Very well, next!”

This cycle continued, and I couldn’t care less for those people. I put my eyes on the tall guy that Carlos mentioned earlier. Soon after, it’s time for him to introduce himself.

“My name is Jamal Stephenson. I’m 6 foot and 8 inches tall. I was a Power Forward player, looking to play as one here.”

What? He is a Power Forward like me!? Oh no… He is taller than me, too.

As everyone introduced themselves, the coach continued.

“Now, I will conduct a few drills. Only the top performers per position will have a chance to get into the team. Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir!” Everyone shouted.

“That’s the spirit! Regulars, please set up the drill’s props.”

The coach ordered us to form a few lanes as the upperclassmen set up a drill.

Like a panther going to pounce on his prey, I am waiting for the moment to show off my skills. With my body in full throttle, I anticipate the drills as I rev my engines.

I can’t wait to begin showcasing my abilities.

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