Saturday, January 31, 2009

On the Devil's Court / by Carl Deuker

Aspirations of a dream senior season in basketball seem to be imploding for Joe Faust when he completely bombs his first day of tryouts. A new kid in a new school, he knows he has to impress if he stands any chance of starting at point guard; but the ball just wouldn't bounce his way. Everything seemed to be against him, like he was somehow cursed. So later on when an eerie sequence of events presents Joe with a bargain of a rather eternal nature, the chance for earthly redemption's just too much to pass up, even if something else gets sold off forever.

Needless to say, Joe's second day of the two-day tryout couldn't be more flawless, leaving the others dumbfounded at the difference in his performance and even coercing the coach into a "I must have pegged you wrong" statement. But this is only the beginning as Joe's dream season quickly starts to manifest itself; things like an injury to the team's starting point guard conveniently creating opportunities as wins, stats and adulation pile up at seemingly every turn. It's almost as if nothing stands too far out of reach as even his most fantastic ambitions now appear feasible. But while temporary achievements seem endless, they can't keep Joe from wondering about his situation in the long run and beyond. With stress bearing down hard as the championship game approaches, Joe's prompted to make some surprise maneuvers off the court and readjust his feelings in regards to the game he loves.

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