Hoops is a natural at basketball . . . but what about his education?

Source : http://www.highlightskids.com/Stories/Fiction/F1098_hoops.asp...

He was born to play basketball.Henry Oliver Ogden Patrick Sullivan was born the day of the National Basketball Association All-Star game. In honor of the occasion, he received a blue sweater, a fuzzy blanket, a teddy bear, a silver rattle, three IT’S A BOY! balloons, and a championship basketball.

His parents were overjoyed with their new son.

“Just imagine those long legs driving for a lay-up,” said Mr. Sullivan.

“He has such a strong grip! Stealing passes from him will be impossible,” said Mrs. Sullivan.

Henry Oliver Ogden Patrick Sullivan (now nicknamed Hoops) was set for the future. In his family, basketball was a way of life.

When Hoops celebrated his first birthday, he amused his family by saying, “Mama,” “Dada,” and “double dribble.”

By his second birthday, he was catching bounce-passes from his father.

On his third birthday, Hoops received an all-star referee whistle and spent the afternoon calling fouls. His parents just smiled and requested many time-outs.

Hoops at 1, 2, and 3 years oldBy the time Hoops was ten years old, he had mastered the fundamentals of basketball. He could shoot hook shots, dribble the ball between his legs, and swish a free throw.

“Hoops is a great basketball player,” said Mr. Tenny, the mail carrier.

“Hoops will put our town on the map,” said Mrs. Davis, the grocer.

The word spread quickly. College coaches began scouting Hoops, hoping to recruit him. Professional basketball executives insisted that he skip school and sign immediately with them.

Reporters surrounded the Sullivan house. Agents phoned to offer their services. Shoe companies offered million-dollar endorsements.

“Hoops is so lucky,” sighed Kevin, who sat behind Hoops in class.

“Yeah, I won’t even make the fifth-grade team,” moaned Sam, who had the locker next to Hoops.

One day in June, Hoops faced an important decision. Should he leave his family, friends, and school for the life of a famous athlete? A press conference was scheduled for the next morning.

That night, Hoops had terrible dreams.

First, as he dribbled to the basket, the ball bounced off his new trademarked shoes and rolled out of bounds. His friends booed as they tossed their authentic HOOPS shoes onto the floor.

Second, he completely missed a jump shot from three-point range. The spectators chanted, “Air ball, air ball, air ball.”

Finally, Hoops saw himself hobbling up to the podium to receive his diploma. He was fifty years older than the other students!

"Hoops is a great basketball player."Hoops woke up screaming.

Family, friends, coaches, and players surrounded Hoops at the press conference.

“He’ll sign with me,” boasted one coach.

“He’ll wear our shoes,” declared an executive.

“He’ll help me make the fifth-grade team,” whispered Sam.

“I have made a decision,” announced Hoops. The crowd hushed, and everyone waited expectantly, fingers crossed.

“There are many ways that I can help each of you. I can help your team win. I can wear your merchandise. I can be in your commercials,” he began.

He pointed to three members of the crowd. “You, you, and you,” called out Hoops. “Please bring me your contracts.”

An NBA coach, an agent, and a representative from a shoe company happily walked toward Hoops. The rest of the audience whispered among themselves.

Hoops took each contract and put it in his briefcase. “These contracts will entitle you to my services,” said Hoops. “I’m looking forward to a great relationship with each of you. See you in a few years, after I graduate!”

The crowd gasped. The selected three opened and closed their mouths, speechless. There was nothing they could do. Hoops would sign their contracts when he had finished school.

Later, Kevin asked, “How did you think of that?”

“I knew it was best,” answered Hoops. “I didn’t want to get my diploma fifty years from now. Besides, I should help the fifth-grade team first.”

“All right!” cheered Sam.