My Toddler Loves Basketball

Max Meets Wu

“Bask-ball!  Bask-ball!  Bask-ball!!!”  My 15-month-old cried out.  “Yes…yes that is a word…basketball,” I responded through my raspy morning voice as I struggled to see what ungodly hour of the morning it was that my son was slapping me in the face while shouting his favorite word.  “Bask-ball!  Bask-ball!  Bask-ball!!!”  My 15-month-old broken record continued.  “Yes Max, the basketball is downstairs,” I said as I wearily emerged from my slumber and stumbled down the upstairs hallway.  Even the rushing sound of water in the shower couldn’t drone out the words of the tiny being that was walking up and down the hall…”Bask-ball!  Bask-ball!  Bask-ball!!!”  Oh God…I’ve created a monster.

Like all parents I am obsessed with my child’s progress and am convinced he is the smartest being on the planet.  In all seriousness though…his motor skills are insane.  He was born holding his own head up, he crawled and stood the same day at 4 months, started walking at 7 months, and now has the motor skill capacity of a 2-year-old.  Yogurt is eaten with a spoon, door knobs are easily opened, soda bottle caps are unscrewed and screwed on, stairs are a welcomed challenge, and nothing is more fun than basketball.  “Bask-ball!”  Sorry…bask-ball…we can only talk in two-syllable words at this point.

Max easily holds a full-size basketball and then has three different options he must decide on from there….

  1. Pass the ball – which he does if you ask
  2. Dribble the ball – which involves slapping it a few times
  3. Shoot the ball – which truly is a shot

Shooting is his favorite.  “Shoooot!”  He calls to me and waits under the basket so I can lift him up to the rim.  Once at the rim he does not want to dunk…no…too easy…he wants to shoot.  “Shoooot!”  Sorry…shoooot.  He rarely misses and all made shots are followed with clapping hands, fists of victory, and shouts of “Goooooaaal!!!”  Misses are greeted with “Uh-oh” and a do over is required.

This morning Max was waiting by the front door, basketball in hand, ready to play “Bask-ball!”  This is no longer a word that he is using to define something…it is a word that defines something he wants to do right now.  “Bask-ball!”  So my commute started today as it had ended yesterday; with a little father-son basketball.  “Bask-ball!”  Right, bask-ball.  It makes sense if you think about it, we took him with us to the NIT finals in NYC when the WSU Shockers won the title…Max was only a few weeks old.  He went to almost every home game this season, watches the away games on the TV, and when he is inconsolable we flip on SportsCenter to calm him down…because he is obsessed with basketba…  Sorry.  Bask-ball.

“Bask-ball!  “Bask-ball Dada!  Bask-ball!!!”  I’ve created a monster.  An adorable monster…but a monster nonetheless.

Celebrating the Shockers NIT Title after the game with my dad Bud, coach Gregg, wife Kate, and son Max.

2 thoughts on “My Toddler Loves Basketball

  1. OMG… I loved this article.. I was googling my son’s obsession with basketball as well and believe it or not his name is Max too. He is 2years 5 months old and has been playing basketball for a year and will not slow down. I even have to buy him Air Jordan gear because he wants to wear basketball shorts and basketball shirts EVERYDAY!. I am shocked at how these boys become so coordinated so quickly – he is a lefty and throws a baseball like a 9 year old and shoots basketball ALL DAY IF HE CAN! LOL… good luck!

    1. That’s awesome Rebecca! I’m not gonna lie…I’ve brainwashed my Max into being a die-hard Wichita State fan who goes to bed every night hugging his “Wu” doll. The other night I heard him babbling in his sleep and turned on the monitor to hear…”Wu…wu…Wooooo!” “Goal!” “Shoot!” “Shockers…Wu…” And so on. Amazing!

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