A New Season
by Mac Callihan

        Hey there, Prophet Nation! Smith Holbrook back at ya for yet another Prophet Report…finally…oh, it’s been too long by dear listeners. Commissioner Adam Silver has done an especially good and thorough job these past two months considering he has no real reporting experience. Sure, little of what he had to say dealt with anything remotely close to our Prophets or the NBA, but the Commissioner can sure captivate an audience…plus, he’s the Comish, he can do and say pretty much whatever he wants. And he does. I love that guy.

        But anyway, here we go. It’s good to be back, and I’m ready to talk basketball with you. Remember, our phone line is always open. It’s my secondary cell phone, always full up with voicemails and 99 unread texts. Here it is, grab a pen Propheteers: (606) 465-9238. Leave questions and comments on this phone, and who knows, I may even pick up and ramble to you about a few basketball related topics. For instance, I saw this pivot move video on YouTube the other day, and it turned my world upside down. Forever changed the way I view Tim Duncan’s style of attack—his lackadaisically physical post presence and his intuitiveness/basketball I.Q. seem to be the inspiration for this pivot video. It only has like 2200 hits on YouTube, and it’s done by a giant 9th grader in rural Ohio who loves basketball with all his heart. His t-shirt read, “Prophet Phan Phorever.” His necklace bore a small cross. I like the kid’s style, and I like his post-moves/pivot video…and I will try to get him on the show next month. His name is Ricky Tersetop, and I’ll seek him out! We try to make dreams come true here in Prophetland.

        OKAY! Let’s get to it, gee, enough already! Prophet time, boys and girls!!!

**SOUND EFFECTS: A train blows its whistle in the usual a-flat minor key, but it sounds coarse tonight. The bellow isn’t as clear; it’s a raspy warning…that train’s needling the sleep deprived minds of this little country hangtown. The whistle is louder than normal, and full of despair. The train whistle fades into the far distance but it is still present. Now you hear glass shattering, and footsteps upon that glass…slow footsteps, slowing down more now. His breathing is getting heavier and shakier by the second. We hear him insert a key into a door, unlock it, and hesitantly begin to creak it open. Miles away, the train moans in agony. He trembles out, “…please, please, don’t let it be her…please God, please, oh…ohhhh NOOOO!!!”

         So! Woah, I gotta take a step back with these Sound Effects, Propheteers! Giving Smith Holbrook a national podcast with unlimited creative powers has its ups and downs, I suppose. Hahaaa! Hope you had a Happy Halloween! Our Prophets did, I know firsthand because I spent it with them. We all went trick-or-treating in downtown Greenup, KY., and it was a real ball of a time! My grandchildren kept me on my toes, and kept me fueled with Starbursts and Caramel Apple Pops. We were accompanied by every Northeastern Kentucky Church League Prophet and the many litters of children they have amassed. We were a mob of goblins and gremlins, superheroes and princesses, and we all had a blast together!

        Commissioner Silver was also in attendance, of course. A couple weeks prior, he won a ridiculous bet in a HORSE game in which we were competing: if he made an impossible shot whilst riding atop a horse, I had to dress up in a costume of his choosing for Halloween. If he missed, I could choose his outfit. It was an impossible bet to turn down, so we shook on it. He then rode my mare Millie down fast off a hillside next to my barn, basketball tucked tightly under his arm. I grimaced, thought he was going to fall off; he still isn’t that practiced at horse riding, and Millie is a handful. But he maintained his equilibrium somehow, and with Millie in full gallop at that point, he launched the basketball one handed from well beyond the 3 point arc. It was a laser beam throw, banging harshly off the backboard, actually cracking the wood badly, before softly dropping through the basket. I celebrated with Silver and got him off of Millie before he killed himself. It was a once in a lifetime shot, and he had won the bet fair and square somehow. So for Halloween…I ended up dressing like PeeWee Herman. Silver even made me dance to that “Tequila” song on an Ironton, Ohio bar we ended up in at the end of the night. I didn’t drink a drop, and had a fantastic time all the same. Silver bought the actual bike from the movie for me, so my grandkids and I get to cruise on it all the time. It’s a hoot!

        Okay, enough of that already. Here is some real basketball stuff, Prophet Nation. This is going to be the greatest season yet for our boys and for the league as a whole, in my opinion. Striver Roark has really came into his own and despite his “ripe” age, he is still in the conversation when the expert analysts discuss “best ball handlers in the league.” His name is right up there with Kylie Irving and Steph Curry, and I’m proud to say it. His assist average last season was the 4th highest, and he protects the ball still, only turning it over .7 times a game. The basketball, to Striver, is a precious gem, a golden sphere, an important package that needs delivered on time. That’s what he does best. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen this season. By the end of it, maybe one of our boys walks off the court with a shiny new ring, singing praises to our Lord on high. God bless the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Amen, Prophet Nation. More hoop reviews next month, as we will have a few games under our belt by then. Keep hope beating, keep love flowing over. I’m Smith Holbrook, and it’s Prophet reporting.