I've been playing basketball in New York City leagues for the past 12 years. I even captained my own team for a while but I never won a championship.
There are several different leagues but they all work pretty much the same. You pay an entry fee, submit a roster and get jerseys for the squad. Organizers place you in a division with competition of similar skill level, and you play 8 to 12 games a season with a scorekeeper, a time clock and referees.
The best teams go to the playoffs, and the last team standing gets the crown.
The faces of my teammates have changed season to season, along with the name of the league, the colors of the jerseys and the locations of the gyms, but there's been one constant: a lack of ultimate success.
Finally, on Tuesday, November 20 at 7 p.m., inside the Trinity School main gym, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, our FOX squad whipped a team from Lacoste, 47 to 32.
We played tough smothering defense start to finish, shutting down their best shooters. Ten of our 11 guys scored (one had three points on a long jumper, going 1 for 3 on the night) and everyone contributed, including our player/coach Lee Patrick Sullivan, who scored several buckets, swished a couple free throws and handled our substitutions skillfully and fairly.
I'm writing this mostly in gratitude to my teammates who helped put a trophy in my hands after a more than decade-long wait.
Thank you Teddy "Slam" Cubrilo, Nick "Trey" Kalman, "Hollywood" John Kisala, Doug "Captain" Jaclin, Jay "the Dominator" Wallace, Ben "Big D" Ramos, Steve "Lights Out" Vargas, Barry "the Saint" St. John, Nate "Risin' Sun" Stoll, and, of course, Lee "LPS" Sullivan.
Now let's go get another!
Rick Leventhal has been a New York-based correspondent with the FOX News Channel since June 1997. You can read his bio here.