Like a Girl

"She hits like a girl. She runs like a girl. She throws like a girl." Maybe she does these things 'like a girl' because she is a girl. Can gender stereotypes be overcome when a girl joins the senior boys basketball team? Or will their season and dreams come crashing to an end before they start.

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4. Confrontation

News of Devon’s place of the boys’ basketball team spread like wildfire throughout the school. As she walked through the halls of Silvercreek High for the next week, she felt the entire student body’s eyes on her. Devon hadn’t made any friends at school yet; everyone seemed to avoid her in classes, the lunch hall and in town. Her walks down the halls were lonely but she kept a straight face so it wouldn’t seem like it bothered her.

The worst part was the whispers. “Slut”

“I bet she sleeps with the whole team in a month”

“Who does this new girl thinks she is?”

“She’ll steal all the guys away from us”

Devon just pulled on her aviators and walked past, annoyed they couldn’t listen to music in the halls. ‘BS safety reasons’ she thought. Brock walked with her when he could, but he spent most of his time with the rest of the team. They hadn’t accepted Devon yet; practices were tense and awkward. Coach Adams yelled at Jason yesterday for not passing a wide open Devon the ball. Devon shook her head at the memory and opened her locker to get her uniform.

“Hey cuz” Brock leaned up against the locker beside Devon’s and smirked at the sight of her jersey. “34 eh?” He asked. 

Devon shrugged, “It’s half of Grandpa’s number, I’m hoping to be just as good as half of him” she replied laughing slightly.

Brock nodded in approval, “These two-a-day practices are going to kill me” He said as they made their way to the gym. “My social life is tanking”

“I don’t really mind” Devon replied, “Dad’s staying in the city for a few days and Mom’s locked herself in her study. I feel like I’m the only one home.”

Brock made a shocked face, “You mean after our little dinner she didn’t want to see her sister?” He said feigning surprise.

Devon laughed and punched him in the arm, “Oh shut up Kellar! You made it so awkward!”

“What did Brock do now?” David asked as he and Jason met the cousins at the entrance of the gym.

Brock laughed again, “Well you see, Cuz and I thought our moms needed a little reunion so we surprised them with dinner. Except we didn’t tell them each other would be there. They were pretty shocked to see each other. Definitely the most awkward dinner party I’ve ever been to.”

Devon rolled her eyes, “Well you didn’t have to be a dick and SAY it was awkward!” She turned to David and Jason, “He was Captain Obvious that night. He’d make little comments like ‘so I guess you two haven’t seen each other in a while, why is that?’ and ‘well I’m glad I found my cousin because you guys wouldn’t have introduced us!”

David shook his head, “Good ol’ Brock”

Jason didn’t say anything but pushed the door open and made his way to the change room.

Devon looked at David and Brock confused. “Ah don’t worry about Jase, he takes a while to warm up to people. He’s still getting used to the idea of playing with a girl” David said apologetically.

“Let’s hope he gets over it soon; first game is tomorrow” Devon said warily.

“I’ll talk to him” Brock said reassuringly as they parted ways to get changed.

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“Alright team, our game tomorrow is against the Pittlehead Lumberjacks.” Coach Adams said to his team as they sat on the bleachers, “To those of you who don’t know, the Pittleheads have always been the weakest team in the league for years. That being said, this is the perfect opportunity to perFECT our offense so don’t take the game too lightly.” Adams added crossing his arms. “Also, after the game I’ll be hosting my annual first game celebration party at my house” He announced with a smile.

Around her, the team hooted and hollered, some even high-fived each other in excitement. Devon looked at Coach Adams confused. He cleared his throat quickly and waited for the boys to quiet down, “Sorry Peters, every year I have a semi-formal party at my place to kick off the new season. It’s the both the basketball and cheerleading team and their parents or guardians.” He explained.

Jack bumped his knees with Devon’s, “It’s a great time, you’ll have fun”

Devon grimaced slightly at the thought of her parents together. That night when her father came home, Devon approached her parents. “Do you mind if talk to you two for a second?” She asked warily.

Her father put down his IPad and her mother took off her reading glasses. Devon took that as a ‘yes’.

“Tomorrow night Coach Adams is having the team and their parents to his house after the game. I’d really like it if you both came and supported me” Devon told them.

“What’s the dress?” Her mother Abigale asked. “Semi-formal”

“Time?” William Peters asked his daughter.

“After the game, so around 9 or so”

William gave Devon a kurt nod, “We’ll be there, do you need a ride there?”

Devon shook her head, “I’ll just drive my car over or get a ride with Brock”

Abigale rolled her eyes, “That insolent little shi-“

“My cousin” Devon interrupted, “And you will be nice to him.” She turned on her heel and left the room. When she shut the door to her bedroom on the second floor, Devon smiled to herself; that had went better than she had expected.

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