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68.29% RETRY: Going Back in Time to Play Basketball / Chapter 27: Varsity vs Non-Varsity Members

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Chapter 27: Varsity vs Non-Varsity Members

"Alright! Let me introduce myself! My name is Leonard Rochlem and I will be the basketball team's advisor and coach starting this day."

Everyone listened gathered in front of Leonard and listened to his introduction.

Apart from Fin and Claude, everyone else in the team heard of the change in advisor and coach the first time.

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No one raised their hands to ask a question and just looked at Leonard.

"No one wants to know more?"

Leonard looked around the gymnasium while ignoring those who are staring at him. While looking around he almost tripped on a ball and pretended as nothing happened. He leaned forward and took the ball with two hands.

When he looked at the ball he wore a soft smile on his face and looked at the crowd.

"You're really uninterested in this old man aren't you?"

Everyone stared at him and did not reply

"How about this..."

He looked at the ball and held it in one hand while using the same hand's index finger to point at the crowd. He smiled and continued.

"... Let's play a game."

Somehow, the crowd did not expect what they had just heard and became stunned.

...

Soon, Lance, Nathan, Allan and the others not chosen to play found themselves sitting on the bench looking at the people that are about to play a game.

They looked at Leonard not knowing what is going on with his mind.

For some reasons Leonard bunched up the varsity team into the first groups and gathered a second string from the remaining non-varsity players of the club. They couldn't understand why but Leonard just shrugged it off.

"... Because it is only going to be in fun this way."

While the first years are watching at the side Fin is dribbling the ball and practicing his handling with his teammates.

Baron came up to him and sneered at Leonard's direction.

"Is this going to be alright?"

He looked at Fin and continued, "That coach does not even think like a coach. What is the motive in the first place when thinking of arranging this kind of game?"

Fin did not look at him and continued on dribbling.

Claude heard Baron and looked at Leonard's direction. The new coach has gathered the second team's members while explaining something. They seem to be serious with the discussion, though he can't hear anything it seemed like Leonard is planning something.

"Che! This is no fun! No challenge at all!"

Fin looked at Baron and stared at him.

"What?"

Baron noticed Fin's gaze and retreated. He turned around and began to practice scoring.

Fin ignored Baron and looked at the second string. His eyes focused on the players before looking at the new coach.

Just like Baron, Fin is also in doubt about the new coach's arrangement. He does not know what the coach wants to show them by gathering the players who couldn't participate in interschool competitions.

Suddenly, someone nudged him on the side. He turned his head and found Claude.

"Why so serious."

Fin just smiled and lightly smiled before shaking his head. Fin pounded the ball once again and held it with hands as it bounced up. He looked at the ball in his hands before taking a final look at Leonard's direction.

As if he noticed it, Leonard looked at Fin the same before beaming into a wild smile. He looked at the players he had gathered and asked, "Do you understand the plan?"

Everyone nodded and affirmed Leonard,

"With this strategy, you may just be able to win for sure... Alright, begin warming up, we will make a recap of the plan in the last minute."

After nodding to his words the team began to spread out and get a ball of their own to warm up.

The sound of balls dribbling and hitting the backboard and rims overlapped and resounded within the Gym. The first years could not help but wonder and think of what to expect.

"Why do I feel like I saw him somewhere before?"

Lance turned his head towards a first-year who is talking to his friend.

"Who?"

The friend asked.

"The new coach. I feel like I know him."

"Maybe you just met him on the road by chance."

"No... I believe I already saw him before... years back? I can't seem to remember where though."

Lance looked at Leonard's direction with a hint of curiosity.

Leonard looked at the team he has temporarily gathered and nodded in satisfaction. So far, everything is under his expectations. The skills and finesse that the players are showing are within his expectations.

He looked at the opposing court and watched and main team as they warmed up.

"Their routine isn't that bad."

He smiled lightly and returned to watching the team he has gathered.

Baron noticed Leonard looking at them and was slightly pissed. He can't help but feel like the new coach isn't a proper one.

"Hey, Baron. You are next."

A teammate tapped him and pointed at the rim. It is his turn to make a layup. He took a huge sigh and focused on the rim.

A ball came towards him as he ran down the lane. He caught the pass and dribbled it twice before picking it up with a good kick towards the hoop.

...

"Somehow I found myself commentating a game once again! This is Nathan your commentator for today with?"

Nathan emulated a microphone with his hand and began to shake his hands as if presenting the guy beside him.

"Hello! Johan here!"

Johan joined him and also acted like they are being filmed and took a pose after a pose.

"Today we are witnessing a game between the school's varsity lineup which is the first string and the non-varsity team or the second string gathered by the new coach."

Nathan looked at the court narrated the settings of the game.

Lance took a glance to his side and looked at the two guys enjoying the moment. He stopped himself from laughing and just smiled while moving away.

"Ohh! It's starting!"

Johan suddenly turned serious when he heard Nathan and spoke with a deep voice.

"It seems like the Jumpball underway."

"Actually, this going to be hard on us mate." Nathan nudged Johan while acting as if he is speaking on a microphone.

"Why?"

"We don't know their names..." Nathan answered.

"... Let us name them by their position then..."

"Oh, you are right."

Hearing their honest conversation, the first years behind them and the other seniors who are not playing started to laugh at the two.

Both Nathan and Johan just smiled and watched the game.

In the court, both the team's first five have begun to take their positions for the jump ball. Each team member can be distinguished by the bib they are wearing. The first string wore a red bib and the second string wore a blue bib.

"Ooh, the centers have taken the center court."

"Yes, they are quite tall indeed!"

Lance looked at the centers of both team and smiled. Both centers are tall but at one glance anybody can see that the center of the non-varsity team is a lot taller.

James Maxwell stood as the center of the varsity team. He has been playing for the team with Claude and Fin and took the position for himself. He might not be a very tall person but he still got some height and long reach enough to be the defensive pillar of the team.

He stood at 6 foot 6 (198 cm) but he can chase and decently defend the paint.

He dusted off the dust in his hands and bobbed his shoulders, relaxing them while looking at the opposing team's center.

The one who stood in front of him is the tallest member of the club. James knows him as he always played and practiced with the guy.

He smiled and said, "Good luck!"

Brent heard James and also smiled, "Thanks, good luck too... We're going to win this one though."

Brent crouched slightly in preparation for the jump ball and smiled at James.

James heard him and chuckled.

"We won't lose."

The referee held the ball between the two and tossed it into the air.

James jumped as high as he could and reached for the ball.

Brent did the same and gave his all to tip the ball to their side. He is a lot taller than James but he did not dare to slack off. There is a reason why James became the center and not him.

Despite the height difference, both players soared into the air with the tip of their hands reaching towards the ball neck and neck to each other.

The spectator's eyes dilated at the moment of the jump ball. Nobody could who will win the ball over.

At the bench, Leonard chuckled and whispered, "No wonder."

Brent is 3 inches taller than James and he stood at least 6-foot 9 inches (205 cm). He might be tall but height is not the only factor that affects the game.

As both of them soared, Brent began to decelerate and ultimately lost the jump ball.

James tipped the ball and got it to Claude's way. When he landed on two feet he looked at Brent and made a friendly smile.

Brent also smiled and immediately transitioned into defense.

Claude passed the half-court line as he dribbled. At this point, no one is marking him yet as he is still far from the scoring area.

He looked past the defenders and focused on where his teammates are. He saw Fin moving towards the paint so he followed and drove to the paint. He crossed over his defender and made his way to the hoop.

Brent did not miss him and quickly came for a block but Claude did not actually aim for a basket.

The ball disappeared Brent's line of sight and bounced towards Fin who was behind him.

As quick as it happened the first score was made.

Brent looked at Fin and chuckled, "That was a good one! I did not notice you!"

"Well, thanks for Claude. Nice set!"

Fin waved his hands and quickly ran to their court.

Brent looked at his teammates and threw the ball in.

"Let's score next." He shouted and tried to bring the morale up.

Leonard who is watching the game suddenly shouted, "Watch out!"

But it was too late.

Brent passed the ball towards their point guard but they did not notice Baron cut in and intercepted the pass with a steal.

And then another basket was scored.

"Ha! Nice coaching!" Baron sneered as he glanced at the new coach. He is deliberately trying to provoke the coach.

Leonard did bother with him and just coached from the side.

The second team is now in the offense but they could get past the defense.

Brent took the ball and drove it down the lane. He passed by his defender but did not expect Claude suddenly appearing at his side to steal the ball. At the attempt of protecting the ball, Brent made an error and the ball slipped out of his hands.

Claude couldn't steal the ball but he managed to break the rhythm of the opposing team and made them lose the ball.

Thankfully, Brent's teammate got ahold of the ball and keep the possession while almost going out of bounds.

Leonard applauded at his seat and looked at the scorecard.

"They really are a good team... But this can't continue..."

The second string's shooting guard managed to get rid of his defender and make a jump shot beside the paint and score a bucket and cut the opponent's lead to 2 but unfortunately, the lead ince again returned to 4 as James made a layup after an offensive rebound.

Leonard stood as his team got the possession and called for a time out.

He looked at the score and smiled.

6 - 2 in favor of the first string. 2 and a half minutes in, Leonard called a time out this early in the game.


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