Monday, January 25, 2010


Every summer during high school, one of my best friends and I would go to weeklong sleep-away basketball camp. It was a good way to get recruited by college coaches while having the opportunity to get away from home and be on our own for a few days.

The first day, before basketball began, there was always a registration period when all of the players were expected to check in, get their room assignments and keys, uniforms, etc. With hundreds of players showing up, it was prime time to scope out the competition and start making friends.

It was during this registration process one particular summer that we met Soggy. Realistically, I would doubt that I’ve spelled his name correctly, but I never saw it written down, so I’m going with Soggy. I’ll never forget the moment when I first saw him waiting in line to approach the table and introduce himself to the coach in charge of registration. He was decked out in Los Angeles Lakers gear; a purple t-shirt and purple shorts which managed to reach only about halfway to his knees, a Lakers baseball cap, complemented by white mid-high socks and a black fanny pack around his waist, which was, to say the least, the proverbial cherry on top of his already striking attire. He had arrived from France and walked right into our summer camp experience, and we felt immediately compelled to befriend him.

Soggy was initially resistant to our efforts to hang out with him, but he eventually came around to our jovial persistence. We asked his advice on all sorts of topics, though he never really embraced being the focus of our attention. To the best of my recollection, I would say that we were perfectly genuine in our attempts to make him feel more comfortable in a foreign and presumably intimidating situation, though our motivation to pick his brain was admittedly somewhat humor-driven.

At night, my friend and I would become restless in our dorm room, and it became our routine to entertain ourselves by making conversation through the courtyard with anyone willing to respond.

“Soggy, where are you?” we called out one evening, but he didn’t answer.

We tried a few more times, and after a while, we heard something along the lines of, “Come down to room 422! I got your Soggy, mother#$&^s!”

Encouraged, we yelled back, “Is that where Soggy is?”

It was not where Soggy was, and needless to say, we never went down to room 422.

The next day, I overheard a concerned coach approach Soggy.

“Soggy,” he began, “Were you okay last night? Your friends were looking for you, I was worried.”

Soggy had apparently been unaware of our attempts to locate him, saying, “Coach, I do not know what you are talking about. I was asleep at ten o’clock!”

Hearing this, I was shocked that our friend was such a disciplined adolescent. I had no idea that anyone at the camp went to sleep so early. In actuality, the motivation behind telling this story comes primarily from the fact that the other night I found myself crawling into bed at 10:00PM, and trying to think of the last time I had been to bed so early made me think of Soggy. Nevertheless, Soggy still makes me smile, so I’m glad for the occasion to talk about him. I hope he’s doing well, and to one day encounter his bright smile and fanny pack again.

1 comment:

  1. fanny packs can be formal, casual, business casual-- thats what makes them so great