My father grew up not far from and graduated from the same college as Bobby Dandridge, a former NBA All-Star who got himself a pair of championship rings while playing for the Milwaukee Bucks and then-Washington Bullets (now Wizards).
My father is a few years older than Dandridge and would tell these stories about him just embarrassing all comers around the area in both high school and college, to the point where for a long time I just assumed the guy was in the Naismith Hall of Fame (and apparently my Dad is not alone in believing he should be there). Unfortunately, I don't have any recollection of any specific story because the stories amounted to the basketball equivalent of "I walked three miles uphill to school and back through blizzards in Virginia" - tall tales that seemed to get taller and blurrier with each retelling, leaving some vague understanding of the moral while the details just become a sort of secondary concern.
In other words, I have no actual recollection of Dandridge and any story I tried to piece together for you would probably sound so absurd that you'd cease to pay attention.
For whatever reason, I thought about how the story of Bobby Dandridge's heroic feats were passed on to me when I heard about Maya Moore following up her dazzling scoring performance for the Minnesota Lynx by playing in the Legends & Celebrity Softball Game at Target Field as part of Major League Baseball's 2014 All-Star festivities.
Maya Moore @mooremaya vs Jenny Finch #girlpower @ Target Field http://t.co/yoOjEKXyH9— Dawn Mitchell (@DawnAtFOX9) July 14, 2014
The real story of the day: Moore scored 16 of her game-high 26 points in the third quarter, including 9 in the first three minutes of the second half, to lead the Minnesota Lynx past the Seattle Storm in a game that was not quite as competitive as the 77-60 final score. Afterwards, she played in the MLB's celebrity softball game and got a hit off of softball legend Jennie Finch.
Maya Moore looks like the best athlete in Minnesota after this softball game. #CelebritySoftBallGame— Harrison McLean (@HarrisonMcLean) July 14, 2014
Possibly embellished story that some unsuspecting child might hear one day: Maya Moore was a two-sport athlete who once played pro basketball and in some softball league. On one day, she had something like her 10th consecutive 30 point game and then dominated a softball game with a grand slam off of Jennie Finch hours later.
Here's to impossible tales of heroism and the heroes that inspire them.