I just returned from the church after having played basketball with my son for a couple hours. This brought back memories of younger times. Our favorite activity during Christmas break was to head to the church (Hyrum Second Ward) to play basketball. There were a couple of drawbacks. We needed someone with a key, and we needed an adult to supervise. That was the rule, there had to be an adult present.
We could usually find someone. Sometimes my brother-in-law who liked to play, or sometimes just someone who was willing to sit while we played.
We could play for hours. The age of those playing would vary Sometimes the group was mostly adults, and other times it was all kids. Over the years I took several roles, from the kid who just wanted to make a name for himself by making a couple plays, to the one of the older kids who dominated the game, and finally the adult who wanted to give the younger kids a chance.
When we got a basketball under the Christmas tree, we couldn't wait to try it out. We would be to the church right after dinner. One year we got an ABA style ball. Man did it look cool when you got a good spin on it with a shot. Clyde had a leather ball. In those days a good leather ball was a luxury.
The church gym was not a full length court. It lent itself to good fast breaks, with drives to the hoop and fancy lay-ups. Many of those fancy drives ended with spins and crazy shots. They would even go in much of the time.
One thing that church had that most don't these days was a shower. It felt great to shower after a long day of basketball. I would let the water run, and put it on colder and colder until I could hardly stand it any more. I then would make a cup with my hands and take in a long drink. Sometimes that would be the end of our day on the court, but other days we would be reinvigorated and go for another round.