Getting Ready for the Opening Ceremonies
This was Jade's first basketball tournament. It was held in June on the 20th. I'm not very good at taking sports shots, especially inside a gymnasium, so I took a few practice shots and decided on an average setting and pretty much stuck with that setting until her second game.
I've always been into basketball even before I was Jade's age. I lived on a reservation and spent a lot of time at my grandmother's place on my father's side of the family. They had a concrete section, probably where a small building used to be, and set up a basketball court to play on. I remember trying to shoot hoops, granny style, and having my cousins giving me pointers. My father also put up a hoop outside our house on a tree, we didn't have any concrete courts, and practicing a bunch on that. I joined the elementary school team when I was in 3rd grade and I still remember my mother taking me out to buy some basketball shoes. I don't want to say how hard my life was growing up, but it wasn't the best and I know how much effort my parents put in to helping us have a happy childhood and for which, I am thankful. I'll be the first to say that my basketball skills are sucktacular, but I have a passion for the game and I owe it to my family for the support they gave me.
While living on the reservation, I had a few opportunities to go play at the reservation's gymnasium with the bigger kids. They always played "shirts & skins" to divide the teams up. Me being a chunky kid, I always had an issue with taking my shirt off. I still have memories of not wanting to take my shirt off and starting the game, me not taking my shirt off and being on "skins", and receiving a pass from the "shirts", only to pass it off to another "skins", and have people get angry at me for not taking my shirt off.
The "Greetings" Before the Game
Japanese are pretty formal before and after games. They always bow before and after a game. This is just before Jade's first game. They played two games this day and they won the first.
Going for the Rebound
The students playing in this tournament, I think, were only 3rd and 4th graders. They didn't have enough players in this age bracket so they teamed up with another school to form a team. The kid wearing the "Itsubu" #7 uniform is from another school and joined our team to play, and although he's not wearing the same pink game jersey, he played with us.
Miho Taking a Free Throw
This is one of Jade's team mates. She's a very talented player and was very good at drawing the foul, if you get my drift... (ball hog! *cough*, not really though lol )
Half Time Advice
Only having one sub on the team, Jade played the whole game. Coach Junpei is telling her to go sit down, take a drink and have a rest during half time.
Although I haven't played basketball in quite a few years here in Amami, I used to practice with coach Junpei before with several different teams. He is a very good ball player and has a great sense of the game. I've recently started play basketball again and he frequently comes to practice for the team I play on. I bring Jade to my practices often and when coach Junpei is there, she's always happy.
After the First Game
As you can see by her rosy red cheeks, she was grateful to finally take a break after her first game. She mentioned that she ran so hard that she got dizzy for a bit and didn't know where the ball was.
Going for the Shot
This is her second game. Their team played an all boys team and it was pretty difficult for them. They lost this game, but it was close (if I remember correctly).
Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/400 sec, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
Perfect Bank Shot
Jade made quite a few points during this game, but as I said, I'm pretty sucktacular at taking sports shots and messing most of them up. It will come eventually with some more practice.
I wish I had better framing on this shot, as you can see, the ball is just barely in the top portion of this photo. The D60 only has 3 focusing areas and it makes me wonder if I could do better having more focusing areas with a D300s. I've been giving some thought about my next camera and though there are a few Nikon users in Amami, most of my friends use Canon and have said they would be more than willing to lend me lenses. I'm still thinking about it, but I'm thinking of giving a good Canon body also a try...