Elgin Cook was all smiles in the Oregon Ducks locker room within the BMO Harris Bradley Center Wednesday afternoon in advance of the NCAA Tournament, the former Hamilton High School standout holding court with national and local media as he answered questions about his homecoming.
He fielded a handful of questions about Milwaukee, and then the conversation turned toward his father – former NBA All-Star guard Alvin Robertson. Robertson played nearly four seasons with the Bucks from 1989 through the first half of the 1992-93 season, averaging 12.7 points, 5 assist and 2.7 steals.
The 6-foot, 6-inch Cook has three inches on his now 51-year-old dad, and said he was just able to start beating him one-on-one a couple of years ago. He admitted the games are still very competitive however, which is something any child who engages in sport with a parent can related to.
In fact, that was just highlighted for me on my recent golf vacation. I went with my dad, and we played 153 holes in five days over the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail that runs throughout the state of Alabama.
Now, I’ve been able to "beat" my dad in golf for a while now – I frankly practice and play (and obsess about it) more, and can hit the ball further – but there’s still an edge there. He wants to beat me, and me, him. And, as the week wore on and we grew more and more tired, I struggled with my swing.
I realized I haven’t played a fully healthy, unrestricted round of golf since the fall of 2012 and man, it showed at times. I wasn’t hitting cold shanks, but it was close. So there were a couple times where I became acutely aware that our scores were closer than they should’ve been down the stretch – and my focus definitely intensified and I made sure to grind out a couple pars to "win."
And what was I "winning" exactly? Nothing. We don’t gamble. We don’t really talk too much trash. We just play, and enjoy the time out on the course together. But there’s something about keeping score, even when it’s technically against just the land in front of you, that makes you want to beat someone.
I’ve probably got a decade on Cook, considering I graduated college in 2002 and he has sophomore standing at Oregon. But that wry, youthful smile that crept across his face when talking about beating his pops was very familiar, and one I couldn’t help suppress myself last week.
It’s all in good fun, though – right dad? (You still can’t beat me!)
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