I was smashed in the eyebrow by the elbow of an opposing player under the basket. I reckoned I was paying the price for my championships, wins and joy the game brought me.
I was up to four games per week in league play in Chicago and the Western Suburbs like Naperville.
My style of play became super aggressive and tenacious. I was the essential ingredient every team needed to be successful on the court: I played with heart and emotion.
I was a 6’5” sparkplug. Rebounding and shutting down the inside like crazy.
Luckily, Edward Hospital was on the same grounds as the sports center. But this injury was too serious to play through.
I started to see the bright at the end of the tunnel. Unbearable bright light shined in my closed eyes.
The emergency department doctor from Edward Hospital stitched up my eyebrow.
I don’t remember if I cried through those eyelids or not. It was an emotional moment.
“I have to get out of this or I’ll be dead,” I said.
My teammates were there gathered around the table. They’d seen my best and worst under shining lights. They joked and laughed with me as they stood around me. That felt strangely good.
I’ve always been happy for the people I’ve been with on this journey of basketball and writing.
But I knew it was over. It was time. Time to hang up my number, #33.
The year before I started taking fiction writing classes at the Writer’s Loft, Chicago’s best writing workshop. In that six week class, I wrote the first words of what would become Working the Glass: A Novel
In August 1999, my wife and I moved to California. I took more creative writing classes at Stanford Continuing Studies. It wasn’t until Julie Orringer, my teacher in an Advanced Fiction Writing Class at Stanford Continuing Studies, encouraged me to go deeper with the story.
Every time a thing ends, something more beautiful grows.
Granted I took a long time to write this novel. I found something that gave me a new start — a novel that has international intrigue, basketball and romance. Oh, yes, my special reader, a love story that you will enjoy. If you are a woman or man, you Will be able to relate!
Like a good hallmark movie or sports film, Working the Glass will stir some long-buried memory: a relationship forgotten, a family member lost.