I just found out today that Jay Triano is now the assistant coach with the Portland Trailblazers. Twenty-six years ago, he was my student teacher and basketball coach. He was older, drove (what we considered) a flashy car and to a bunch of young girls, he was pretty darn dreamy.
Now, I’m not going to say that I was his favourite, but he liked me a lot. Back then, he was still a student at SFU (though not playing basketball there anymore) and as a little bonus, he took us up to the school for a Clansmen game one night. As I spent $1 of the money that my folks had given for the trip on a program. All the programs sold had a number and if your number was drawn, you’d get a chance to shoot a basket from centre. Mr. Triano, because that’s what we called him, took me aside and said, “if your number gets drawn, give it to me and I’ll take the shot from centre.” If you made it, you’d take home $2500 which was sort of like a million dollars to my eleven-year old mind.
Wouldn’t you know it, my number was the number called: 110. Mr. Triano swooped in like my hero and took over. He lined up at centre and rocketed the ball to the basket. I swear this is no word of a lie, but the ball headed straight towards the target and in slow-motion time, it made contact with the rim, bounced around a couple of times and…fell out the other side.
Honestly, the excitement was prize enough. My little girl heart was elated, with or without a fistful of money.
Why did I tell this story today? Because of this retweet from Jen:
My consolation prize from the free throw contest? A case of Super Socco. The white one. My favourite. And Mr. Triano let me keep that all for myself.