Adrift in the Florida Keys

Adrift in the Florida Keys

It was a hot and muggy Saturday in Marathon, on the Florida Keys. There is a military base there, and hotels that offer cheap, dusty rooms stocked with broken air conditioners. The team had lost the night before to another highly renowned squad with true athletic prowess in nearby Tavernier.

They were exhausted, overmatched, and breathless with each sprint down the court. Toward the end of the second half, the Suns of the mighty University School were still battling for every inch of space against Marathon High. The ball was worked around the perimeter, and a fresh-faced junior named Jonathan Canter pulled up from the foul line and shot a jumper. The shot fell short...of the rim. It may have been “a pass” as another Junior, teammate Robert Karmin, scrambled between towers of 6’9 and 6’8 to grab the pass/rebound.

What Karmin lacked in height, he also lacked in athleticism. He pump faked, went up, and to his surprise he got a shot away. The ball bounced in and out, and the opponents grabbed the rebound. At the next time-out, the fate of Dear Mom lied in the bloody hot tempers of Jonathan and Robert.  

Immediately, Jonathan confronted Robert in the huddle. “Make your damn layups,” he shouted. Before coach could interrupt, the surprise announced itself on his teammates faces. Karmin responded. “If you’d stop air-balling foul line jumpers I wouldn’t have to!”

The shock then set in, and the team was rattled. But Jonathan responded with a smile and the two have been tight ever since. They looked at the scoreboard.  3:30 left in the fourth quarter, and the Suns were down 73-41. Hopelessly adrift yet bonded closer in the winter of 1993-94.