Here are the highlights of the second half of the basketball season:
2/4/18: No game. Alan’s team had the week off, but a play from the prior week — where Alan caught a hot pass from a teammate (Wyatt) and scored — was talked about by Alan and me all week. After I showed Alan video of LeBron’s game-winning shot to beat the T-Wolves at the buzzer on 2/7/18, Alan commented on how Jeff Green’s pass to LeBron was just like Wyatt and Alan’s play. After Alan shared his take on the play, it will likely now go down in family lore — just like the time Alan hit a baseball off the roof of the apartment. That happened last summer, but we talk about that like it was yesterday. 🙂
2/11/18 vs Thunder: Alan is miraculously held scoreless by the all-world Thunder D, but he impacts the game in other ways – most notably with his good passing. Alan brought the ball up the court and set up the offense several times in the game.
2/18/18 vs Cavs: Alan plays his best game of the season, highlighted by 4 made baskets! He scored once in the first quarter, twice in the third quarter (including at the buzzer), and once in fourth quarter. It was an intense game due to one kid on the opposing team being both too skilled and too physical for the league. Early in the third quarter, Alan got banged into by him. But Alan shook it off, stayed in the game, and went on to score 3 of his 4 baskets after getting hurt.
2/25/18 vs Lakers:
3/4/18 vs Celtics:
All of these games were 11:30am starts (first wave of games), so Alan wanted us to arrive before the rest of the team to practice on the open court. It was fun playing 1-on-1 with him!
It’s time for a midseason update:
1/7/18 vs Cavs: In his debut contest, Alan scores 2 baskets, including the Heat’s first basket of the season on the first shot attempt of his career (and one basket in the 3rd quarter). I loved being out on the court with Alan and seeing the pride on his face after making that first shot.
1/14/18 vs Pacers: Alan again scores 2 baskets, opening both the 2nd and 4th quarters with made shots (and fist pumps). I might have to start calling him “The Microwave” because of his potential for instant offense!
1/21/18 vs Blazers: Despite getting hit by a stray ball pregame and getting kicked (inadvertently) during the game, Alan recovers to score 1 basket in the 4th quarter. Alan learned about toughing out games and playing hurt .
1/28/18 vs Knicks: In front of an audience that included Grandma Debbie, Papa, Tata, and Papa #2, Alan keeps his ‘consecutive games with a made basket’ streak alive by converting a shot near the start of the 4th quarter. Alan was back to his enthusiastic self on the court, and he was especially excited to participate in a jump ball for the first time.
According to Alan, basketball has now pulled even with baseball as his favorite sport.
Today Alan puts on his Heat jersey – and matching new shoes – for the first time in league play! I’ll update his progress after games 4 and 8 of the 8-game season.
Today Alan completed the final practice session before league play begins in 2 weeks. He’ll be playing for the Heat this winter!
Alan’s pretty proud of himself for how far he’s come already this season. He can make baskets pretty consistently in the layup line, he can jog while dribbling, and he can slide his feet on defense. The uncertainty he felt before his first practice was ancient history today when he described basketball as “a lot of fun” after his last practice.
Alan can name all the areas on a court now after we’ve been studying a diagram of a basketball court. And Alan’s coach called him the best listener he’s ever seen.
He’s got a second favorite sport to go along with baseball now!
Alan’s first season in the Mayfield LBJ basketball league is officially underway! Alan has worn his lucky Cavs Championship shirt to the first few sessions. It must be bringing him good luck because today he made his first ever shot on the big hoop!
My camera was fortunately in hand, so here’s his form on the shot:
Alan’s friends playing in the league include Noah, Grady, Anton, Joshua, and De’ Onte. Alan partnered with De’ Onte to work on bounce passes.
Alan has wrapped-up his rookie year in the Mayfield Boys’ Baseball League. Here’s a recap of the second half of the season:
6/9 – Alan goes 3-for-3 and plays 3B and P. He makes his mark fielding from the pitcher position, and is established as a regular there – a prime fielding position for this league.
6/16 – Alan goes 3-for-3 and plays 2B and P. After the game, Alan discovers that I’m the one who has been bringing the marker board for the lineup to each game. He proceeds to borrow it and write notes — including his own version of the team’s batting order. 🙂
6/23 – Game rained out.
6/30 – Alan goes 1-for-1 and plays 2B before the rain comes and postpones the game after one inning played. Alan finishes the season batting 1.000!
It was a great debut season for Alan in MBBL play. I loved coaching third, managing the lineup for the kids, and standing in the field with Alan. Next summer Alan will move up to the league for 7 & 8 year-olds. He’s ready!
Today Alan and I celebrated Father’s Day on the baseball diamond at Alan’s team practice. Afterwards we made a quick stop at Toys ‘R Us because someone was due for a good-behavior reward. On the drive back, Alan wrote me a message on the baseball lineup marker board, so we snapped a photo of it. 🙂
We’ve reached the midpoint in Alan’s rookie year in the Mayfield Boys’ Baseball League. Here’s a recap of the games to date:
5/13 – Alan goes 2-for-2 and plays 2B. He gets a big kick out of me waving him home for the first time (it was the first time he’s seen the motion of a 3B coach).
5/19 – Alan goes 3-for-3 and plays 2B and 3B. At 2B, he fields a hot shot grounded on a real nice play.
5/26 – Game rained out.
6/2 – Alan bats leadoff and goes 4-for-4 with his whole family in attendance. He plays SS and P, where the ball finds him on several occasions. Alan continues to field the routine grounders. He’s also commended for helping up players off the ground, including his new buddy and teammate, Tommy.
Alan made his Mayfield Instructional League debut today in the 5 and 6 year-olds “coach-pitch” division. He played great, getting two solid hits to left field and splitting time at pitcher’s helper and second base in the field. Alan was excited to receive quite a few grounders from the pitcher’s helper position. And he encountered best friend Grady while covering second.
Alan plays for the Village Vet Clinic team and the opener was against the Mo Vaughn Trucking team. Yes, that Mo Vaughn – the former Red Sox, Angel, and Met first baseman who slugged 328 home runs between 1991 and 2003. Alan and I both shook his hand in the handshake line following the game.
Final score: A 16-16 tie.
Tonight Alan’s first season of baseball came to a close after a very successful six weeks. Alan really showed improvement in hitting (both with and without a tee), throwing, and – most especially – catching balls in his glove. He also learned the “ready position” for fielding and started to pick up the rules of the game.
Most importantly, his interest and enthusiasm for the game has continued to grow. Alan got to hit leadoff the past two games because he was the quickest to get in line to hit. He also got to pick his position in the field by always being the first one to run out of the dugout.
I personally loved getting to play the field and run the bases with Alan during games. We’ll continue to practice together this summer, but I already can’t wait for next season!
Note 1: Just over Alan’s shoulder you can see his fan club: Debbie, Papa, Tata, Papa, and Lulu.
Note 2: Pictures were taken 6/9/16; Video of handshake line recorded 6/2/16.
Tonight Alan kicked off his Little League baseball career at the first practice for Mayfield’s “Little Sluggers.” Alan had a blast practicing hitting off a tee, catching pop-ups, taking grounders, running sprints, running more sprints, and ending practice with a cheer!
Alan is a member of the Tigers, which he got a kick out of since that’s his favorite animal. His best friend from preschool, Joshua, is on the White Sox and his neighborhood friend, William, is on the Royals. Alan was thrilled to find out they were playing in the league this summer!