Kenny is the president of the Basketball club this year alongside being in his second year at university studying Bio-Engineering. He’s done a lot of work this year to try and make basketball run as smoothly as possible with the current pandemic. He agreed to be interviewed and asked about his favourite basketball moments in the basketball club. However, it is very difficult to find just one favourite moment so instead, he talked about his three best sports moments with the club.
In most sports, your first and last game can be the most memorable, such as watching Kobe Bryant in his last game score 60 points (which also happens to be Kenny’s favourite moment in sport’s history). It is the one that can bring a lot of emotion: anxiety, excitement, but also happiness, pride, and acceptance. There’s also the big games: finals in a championship, promotion games, or games where your family or friends come and watch. But sometimes the most memorable moments you have can come from random games that you expected to maybe blend into one memory after a few years. At the end of the day, sometimes you don’t even remember how the game ended; the important part of the game was how you felt in a specific moment. Kenny’s moments encompass all these. His best memory was against Bucks university, in High Wycombe. Bucks university may have a small reputation of having referees that think there is no way Bucks have done anything wrong and should never get called on, and that the other team is absolutely atrocious and is out to get them.
I was really excited and wanted to prove myself!
A lot of Imperial’s players had a few fouls, including Kenny, who had four (in basketball, if you have five fouls, you get kicked out of the game, similar to a red card). After a long game, the last minute comes along and somehow Imperial are only 4 points down (“somehow” being that the other team was given enough free shots for it to be embarrassing if they didn’t win). Imperial had possession and was able to score, leading us to being down by only 2 points. As the ball is inbounded, Imperial foul so that Bucks have to start from the half court and the timer stops. Bucks inbounds the ball again from the half court to their main player, “who I was in charge of defending”. As their main player starts to move, “I manage to steal the ball, run down to the basket, and go up for a layup. The buzzer sounds just as I make [the basket]”. This ties the game and puts it into overtime, which sadly Imperial lost. However, even though Imperial lost in overtime, that steal and buzzer beater made the game. Kenny’s first game at Imperial ranks second in his favourite moments. “In my first game, I remember I was really nervous because I hadn’t played in 6 months, and I had made it into the Men’s Second Team. I was really excited and I wanted to prove myself.”
The team had travelled to Portsmouth for this game which was a 2.5 hour journey to play Portsmouth’s first team. As they got there, Kenny was told that he was part of the starting 5, which got him super excited and nervous. As the game started, “I quickly realized that this team was absolutely incredible” and they had home court advantage and had a lot of supporters on their side. Imperial at this time had only managed to have trials and one training session together due to the late start of the season, so they lacked team chemistry and hadn’t played together before. Therefore “we got demolished! We lost overall by 40 points… It was embarrassing, they were insane!” However, even with that defeat, there can still be moments that redeem you (in parts). “In the dire moments of the game, they had a fast break. They had this guy that kind of looked like Ben Simmons, quite tall, and muscular… They passed it out to him and he was by himself running down the court, and I come running down behind him. He goes up for a dunk and I block him! Everyone on our team got so gassed!”
The player tries to have the referee call a foul (which is what a lot of players do when they get blocked and are a little embarrassed, even though they know it was fair play), but the referee said that block was all ball so he didn’t get the foul either! At the end, when we were talking about the game, Imperial’s captain said “guys we may have lost by 40, but we are gonna remember that block!” Kenny’s third ranked greatest memory comes from his last game in his first year. His team had won the previous game, “so we all started the game pretty confident, the team had played together more and we had team chemistry and I felt more comfortable”. As the game goes on, the team realizes they are playing quite well as well! Since we were doing well, “I was like, I’m feeling myself. So I pop up for a three and it goes in. So I’m like, okay, feeling good, I’m comfortable. So I decide to go for a second three, which was a bit further out, and it goes in. I’m getting even more confident and feeling myself”. So then the game goes into second half, where the teams switch sides of the court. Kenny is coming down the side of the court with the ball where the Surrey bench is and their players are saying “leave him, he can’t shoot”. To this, Kenny “wanted to show them up, so I pull up for a three and it goes in. I turn around, look at them, put my finger over my mouth, and shush them as a joke. I was smiling and laughing and they were laughing as well”. Kenny couldn’t remember who had won that game in the end, but “that was a good moment!”