Last year I was commissioned to be the male entertainment at a bachelorette party for Rebecca Kidwell-Yan. I showed up at her party and, boy, was she surprised.
After I was home and had a chance to reflect, it came to mind that being the entertainment at such an event wasn’t on my list, so I added it.
Last month I had another opportunity to play that role when Alicia Pieper-Wood, a good friend of Rebecca’s, was having a bachelorette party. Alicia was also surprised to see me. This time I was able to scratch this item off my list.
A couple of Saturdays ago I was able to draw a line through another item. A new professional basketball team, the Naptown All-Stars, is coming to town. I had met the coach, Cory Arnett, and his wife, Saysha, and have had the opportunity to show them around a bit. They just moved here from California.
The All-Stars, a member of the American Basketball Association, will begin playing in the fall, with their home games at Manual High School.
Arnett had been contacting potential players to let them know about tryouts. The first one was a couple of weeks ago at Manual. He asked me several times if I was going to come. Since I was interested in seeing what sort of response he would get, I arrived about 15 minutes early.
Arnett had a couple of assistants to help with the drills, and there was a photographer taking pictures. Several players were eager to display their varied skills.
I sat behind one of the baskets and was watching the players warm up when a basketball came rolling in my direction. I picked it up and passed it back to a player on the court. A bit later I encountered another ball, and because I saw no one waving at me to fire it to him, I stood court side and dribbled the ball several times.
I checked around again and noticed that Arnett was having a discussion with several of the players across from where I was standing. I took that opportunity to take three or four shots; I believe I made one before sitting down.
I thought the tryouts went well. The coach had the facility booked again the next afternoon for callbacks and a few players who didn’t make it to the first tryout. Arnett asked me if I could return for the next session, and I felt honored. I wasn’t sure if he had noticed my passing, dribbling and shooting skills, but I guess he had.
I explained that I couldn’t attend because Stuart, my therapy dog, and I had to go to a birthday. He informed me that the next tryout session will be held in June.
That evening I sat down with my list and scratched off “trying out for a professional basketball team.” That is two items marked off in about 30 days.
Shonk, a lifelong Southsider, is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools. He is married to Lyn Shonk.