Sunday, February 10, 2008

In the NICK of time

Let me share with you a column that I wrote for The Lance, the official publication of my beloved alma mater, Colegio de San Juan de Letran. I was the sports editor of our school paper during the SY 2005-2006. This column is part of The Lance February 2006 edition.

In lieu of the coming NBA All-Star Games in New Orleans this coming February 15-17, let me take you back to the 2006 Sprite Slam dunk contest during the NBA All-Star Games in Houston.

In the NICK of time
Nicanor Joseph S. Nepomuceno Jr.

Twenty years after the classic win by Spud Webb in the 1986 National Basketball Association (NBA) Slam Dunk contest, 22-year-old rookie Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks duplicated the said fete. These two high flying NBA players are less than six feet in height but they proved to the world that small guys can jump.

The crowd in Houston gave the 5’9” pointguard of the Knicks his much needed support and inspiration by continuously cheering for him despite missing plenty of his attempts. Robinson defeated 6’7” Andre Igoudala in a closely fought battle that needed a tie-breaking dunk to determine the winner.
In my opinion, his winning dunk is the between the legs slam that he did. The other dunk that I think really impresses the judges was when he invited Webb to the court and let him wear his Atlanta Hawks retro jersey. Robinson jumps over the 5’7” Webb and delivers his picture perfect slam. I’m very fond of looking out for the achievements of the “vertically challenged” people like myself. This is due to the fact that sometimes, I tend to be shy and stand in front of many people because I’m not too tall.

Whenever I see people that are successful in their endeavors despite their problem in height, I felt happy for them. Webb and Robinson were literally a small man in a big man’s game, but they proved that height is not always the requirement to be successful and become popular in basketball.
Spudd Webb is considered a legend in the NBA and I’m sure that every basketball fan knew him. I’m also pretty sure that he is more popular than former Vancouver Grizzlies Bryant Reeves. Reeves didn’t even make an impact in the NBA when he was a rookie and where is he now?
My point here is don’t ever underestimate the capability of a vertically challenged individual because I guarantee that our lack in height is properly compensated by an abundant talent and skills that we could do.

* * *
I wish that the entire lover’s out there had a very memorable Valentine’s this February. Yours truly had a memorable one since it is also my sister’s birthday on that day. Since it’s the month of February, I would also like to express my love to you, to all of you. I love you!

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