A heartwarming story told by memory, or The Legend of Basketball Joe

We are going to play a fun game called Something I Read And Really Liked In the Sunday Times But Can’t Provide the Details On Because I Already Recycled The Paper, or A Heartwarming Story Told By Memory.

So. You guys. I just read a story that made me melt all over my Sunday pancakes. It is about a kid in L.A… I think it was Compton. He might have been an East Compton Clover.

He was definitely a basketball player. Let’s call him Basketball Joe.

Then… there was a… company? And they wanted to enhance the image of Compton schoolkids, so they sponsored a free-throw tournament open to any student with a 3.0 GPA or above and the WINNER would get $40,000 for college!! HERE IS THE THING. Nerds are not always athletes. Sometimes they are hardly ever athletes. Sometimes they are only good at orchestra or theater, but that’s okay because everyone has their talents and sometimes sports is not included on that list. Essentially, this was a Nerd-Off, with college scholarship money in the mix, so everyone was like




and Basketball Joe was like, “Guess what, me too, because GUESS WHAT, MY GPA IS OVER 3.0.” And the company was like, “He’s already a basketball player, so that’s kind of unfair, but he qualifies, so let’s let him play.”

Then came the free-throw tournament. EVERYONE WAS ON THE EDGE OF THEIR SEATS! Which nerd would prevail?!?! College dreams and hoop dreams colliding! It was all very exciting. The first seven nerds and their dreams did their very best, which was probably like….. they threw the ball and it didn’t hit anyone.

BUT THEN. BASKETBALL JOE steps up to the plate! I mean free throw line! AND. HE DID IT. HE. SUNK IT. AND. HE WON IT.

And all the nerds were like, “We hate you, Basketball Joe!”

But then something very mysterious and moving happened. Basketball Joe already had a full-ride athletic scholarship to college, but he could have taken the money anyway. AND HE WAS LIKE… “You guys. You seven nerds. You have good hearts, so guess what. I am going to SPLIT this $40,000 among all of you.”

And just like that! Dreams started coming true for the Compton nerds! Some of them would be the first in their family to attend college.

I'm the only one who knows how to handle a basketball. Don't forget it, nerds.


Thank you, Basketball Joe. And thank you, L.A. Times for telling me this awesome, awesome story.

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3 Responses to A heartwarming story told by memory, or The Legend of Basketball Joe

  1. Now THAT’S some great story telling, Stephanie! I like it. And that kid has a big heart. I hope he and his new need buddies all kick butt in higher ed.

  2. karen says:

    That’s totally heartwarming, and I’m positive you told it way better than the paper did anyway!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hurry — write the screenplay!

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