Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn’t try to play junior varisty basketball because he thought he was a baller.
He just wanted to get off campus from the Oak Ridge (N.C.) Military School.
Earnhardt posted a “throwback Thursday” photo of his junior varsity team. He’s the short one on the left side of the photo.
The photo in one word? Epic.
Earnhardt was gloating about the photo Thursday and explained Friday why he even played basketball.
“I sat on the bench a lot being the smallest guy,” Earnhardt said before practice at Texas Motor Speedway. “I didn’t have any skill. I only played because you got to leave campus for road games.
“Being able to leave even for a day in military school, was an amazing vacation to be able to leave for a few hours. You’d go after the game and get the pizza or whatever. You didn’t have those kind of luxuries being on campus. I had fun.”
How “good” was Earnhardt? The man who would become NASCAR’s most popular driver for the last 11 years said he scored a whopping two points that JV season.
“Some guy was jumping at me and I just closed my eyes and threw it up,” he said. “It was rough back then, but a lot of good memories. … Practicing and being on a team, I hadn’t played much organized sports in my life.”
Earnhardt, who won’t be going to the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four down the road this weekend, still likes to play.
“We have a small little group of guys that get together and play,” he said. “I’m not skillful at all, but it’s fun. It’s a good way to get some energy and exercise.”