A 4th of July hero among us: Wellesley pickup basketball game must go on

The word “hero” gets tossed around generously these days, but it’s no overstatement to describe the actions of one fellow pickup basketball player this Sunday morning in Wellesley.

After the past days of rain, prospects of our over “X” basketball group getting in our regular Sunday morning game at the court at Ouellet Field looked shaky. But a break in the precipitation gave us hope, so a good number of players showed. This is not a group that gives up its game easily: I still remember the talk when I first connected with this crew about possibly having everyone chip in for a defibrillator.

After strapping on my ankle brace, I packed up my basketball, first aid supplies, and drinks, and limped over to my car this AM. I then circled back and grabbed a broom from the garage just in case we needed to brush away puddles.

“What’s that for, to show the other team you plan to sweep them?” asked Mrs. Swellesley, knowing me too well.

When I arrived at the court I was greeted not with the bouncing of basketballs, but rather the buzzing of a leaf blower. I thought nothing of it, given that this is one of Wellesley’s signature sounds, regardless of weather conditions or season.

This high-powered landscaping gear wasn’t being used to scatter leaves, however. One of our mates, exhibiting real American ingenuity on this July 4th, was doing his darnedest to dry off the court. It wasn’t lost on me that he paid special attention to those baseline spots from which he insists on hitting fall-away jumpers despite having my hand in his face.

leaf blower basketball
Believe me, the court looked wetter in real life


I’ll refrain from identifying this upstanding citizen. As a true hero, he’d want no public credit. (Though Wellesley DPW, if you’re looking to recruit him, I can get you a number.)

Meanwhile, I never took my pitiful broom out of the car.

broom ball

In the end, the combination of the leaf blower, time, and dry air let us get our games in. Pretty much injury free, too.

Happy July 4th!

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