Excerpt from ZOEY 101: GIRLS GOT GAME
by Jane Mason and Sara Hines Stephens
Standing on a bench and holding a basketball against her hip, Zoey surveyed the group of girls on the court in front of her. With Nicole’s help she had managed to round up at least fifteen girls. She needed only six to make a b-ball team, so things were looking good. All she had to do was pick the good players.
“Okay, so how many of you have ever played basketball before?” she asked enthusiastically, her blond braids bobbing slightly.
Half a dozen hands reached cautiously into the air.
“Okay.” Zoey tried not to let her enthusiasm flag. “So how many of you would say you’re good at basketball?” she asked.
The girls looked at one another and all of the hands in the air disappeared. Not a single hand remained.
“Uh, I once made a basketball explode,” one of the girls offered. It was Quinn. She was in Zoey’s dorm and seemed, well, a little odd.
“How?” Nicole had to ask.
“Chemicals.” Quinn shrugged.
“Okaaaay.” This was not going as well as Zoey had planned. And the rest of the girls knew it, especially Dana. She was standing in front of the group of girls, glaring at Zoey like she was wasting her time.
“Look, this is stupid,” one of the girls said.
“Yeah, there’s no way we’re gonna beat the guys at basketball,” another girl agreed. Soon everyone was chiming in.
But Zoey wasn’t about to give in . . . yet. “Look,” she explained, stepping down off her bench, “this is not about beating them. This is about proving we can do anything they can do.”
No one seemed convinced. Zoey tried again. “Guys, this is about respect.”
“What’s so ‘respectable’ about a bunch of girls getting beaten?” Dana asked bluntly. She narrowed her eyes until she almost resembled the red snake printed on her brown T-shirt. Losing was no way to gain respect, and she figured Zoey would know that. She seemed pretty smart, at least at first. Now Dana wasn’t so sure. And she was not sure what she was doing here, either. “Now what?” Dana announced. Then she answered her own question. “I’m outta here.”
Leave it to Dana to get everybody feeling positive, Zoey thought. Her lousy attitude was contagious! Zoey watched as her cranky roommate stomped off the court, taking almost all of the other girls with her.
“Dana . . . c’mon, guys . . . guys!” Zoey knew there was no point in begging. But looking at the sad pack left — there was just her, Nicole, that weird girl Quinn, and three others — made begging kind of tempting.
“And then there were six,” Nicole said, looking around a little worriedly.
“Well, that’s enough for a basketball team,” Zoey said firmly. She wasn’t about to let Dana’s crankiness rub off on her. They may have been down, but they weren’t out. “And the game’s not ’til Friday. So we’re going to practice hard and we’re gonna win!” she vowed, trying to sound convincing. But in the back of her mind she was wondering who she was trying to convince — the girls, or herself?
From Zoey 101: Girls Got Game. Copyright © 2006 Duo Entertainment Vertriebs GmbH. All rights reserved.