This morning, I sorta feel like Leonardo DiCaprio looked after going a few rounds with that voracious grizzly bear in The Revenent. No, I wasn’t shotgunning around in the woods this weekend—I was firing jumpshots in a local Mankato basketball tournament.
It’s been about three years since I’ve gotten up and down a court, and … heavens to Betsy … basketball’s a brutal sport! The jostling on the boards, the hand-checking defense on the perimeter, the hacking and fouling and elbowing and gouging and charging and thumping. Honestly. My knee feels (and sorta looks) like a grapefruit was somehow injected into it. My lower back is that slab of slaughterhouse beef Rocky punched in the movies. My hamstrings are plucked, and my calves are mooing. My thumb muscles hurt.
But, oh … the memories it shook loose.
First of all, the muscle memory. I started wearing glasses daily soon after I started editing full time here (thanks Capstone), but of course I wasn’t going to wear them on the court because I’m too cool for that. So basically I couldn’t see. But it was nice to be able to launch a couple 25-foot three-pointers nonetheless—and know the moment I released the ball if it was going in or not just by the feel of the ball leaving my fingertips. The dribbling and the passing stay with you, too, pretty much, even if the speed leaves. It was kind of like driving a long lost car, but with less horsepower than you remember. Yep, that’s exactly what it was like. My 1976 AMC Matador, 40 miles an hour, pedal to the floor.
Then there’s the memory of games gone by. The memories of late-season February games, and the heady feel of those heartbreaking tourney games of March. I spent so much of my youth sweating those games, those moments.
Not all of the basketball moments in my memory included me on the court. That is, I loved watching games, too. One of the most memorable teams I fondly recall is Dream Team, the first collection of USA basketball pros ever to take the court at the Olympics. Magic and Bird and Jordan. Barkley and Ewing and Robinson. Drexler and Mullin and Pippen. Stockton to Malone. Christian Laettner. Ha.
That Dream Team grabbed the entire world’s attention for a couple weeks of the summer of 1992 in Barcelona. And I’m happy to say that I’ve recently been on a project at Capstone that recaptures that moment in time.
Written by Twin Cities-based writer Brandon Terrell and illustrated by Eduardo Garcia out of Mexico City, the Sports Illustrated Kids Time Machine Magazine: Harmony and Hoops title is Capstone’s time-travel take on the best basketball team ever assembled. Terrell’s writing is humorous and adventurous and basketball-savvy, and Garcia’s illustrations are illuminating and amusing.
Newly released, the entire Time Machine Magazine set arrives just in time for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Other historical fiction titles feature Jesse Owens’ epic sprints and jumps in 1936 Berlin, Nadia Comaneci’s gymnastical perfect tens in 1976 Montreal, and Florence Griffith Joyner’s bursts of speed and style in 1988 Seoul.
Please do two things for me? Pick up this set today. And excuse me while I grab some acetaminophen.
-Nate LeBoutillier, Capstone Editor