FORD: Slammin’ Santa is coming to town | TheUnion.com
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FORD: Slammin’ Santa is coming to town

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the land, not a creature was stirring, not a Miner, Bruin, Falcon or man.

The section title banners were hung in gymnasiums with care, in hopes that future teams will soon hang more there.

The local athletes were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of state championships and league titles danced in their heads.



And coaches with their whistles, and I with my writer’s cap, had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the court there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.



Away to the gym, I flew like a flash. Tore open the doors, and threw down some cash.

The lights beamed off the floor of the newly waxed court, giving the illusion of a basketball game of some sort.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a 6-foot, 8-inch Santa, a baller, this was clear.

With a little old crossover, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be a baller named St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his 3-pointers did fly. And he swished, and swished, he didn’t miss a single try.

From downtown, from inside, a slick fade-away. From the baseline to the top of the key, Santa could play.

He’s above the rim, pass him the ball. Now get back on defense, Santa can’t do it all.

As the defense crowds the paint trying to deny, Santa’s vertical touches the sky.

So up to the rafters is where Santa flew. With a bag of basketball tricks, most of them new.

And then a whistle’s shriek, I heard from the ref. Santa had taken too much liberty with his Euro-step.

He was dressed in red Under Armour, from his head to his foot. If he keeps playing like this he’ll be a top recruit.

Crashing the boards, the glass he did attack, putting his entire team on his back.

His eyes – how they twinkled, his handles how merry. He burnt his defender so bad, then sank a jumper, just like Larry.

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow. When he hits 3s instead of let it rain, he yells “let it snow!”

The big man in red practices and practices to keep his game tight. Don’t mess with Santa, he plays the game right.

His passes are no-look, bumping defenders with his belly. Shaking opposing players, making them jiggle like jelly.

He was chubby but tall, a right-skilled old elf. And I stood in awe as his game was top shelf.

With a wink of his eye, a smile and a quick pump fake, he drilled an eyes-closed fade away for heaven’s sake.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work. And filled all the stat lines; then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, up to the rim he rose.

He sprung to the sky, the ball he did jam. And the stands exploded, “wow what a slam.”

But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight: “Happy Christmas to all, and have a good game tonight.”

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.


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