for as long as you can remember the court has been your home, the ball an extension of yourself. you can't even recall when it was you started playing but you know that the moment you did you found your calling, or at least that was what it felt like to you. it was almost as if you woke up and fell asleep on the court because you were there that often. you had seen the pros play on tv and you had watched on the sidelines at the park and had instantly fallen in love with the game, wanting to be just like the pros, wanting to be the best. then you practiced, doing everything you had seen and more. they say kids are fearless, reckless, believe they are limitless, but you are all of those things, even now. you play against full grown men even at a young age to better your skills, you are quick and you can maneuver around them easily, and you have the kind of reckless abandon only a child can have, the kind that leads you to try things that shouldn't be possible, just flinging the ball into the basket, a 'formless shot', or shooting threes you shouldn't be able to make at your age, doing tricks you know a lot of people can't do. all you do is practice. one the court you were in your element and you only got better.
in middle school you joined the teiko basketball club and until that point you didn't think that there could possibly be anyone your age who loved basketball as much as you did. back then you still smiled when you played, because you were happy on the court, you were so in love with the game. teiko has a team like no other, and win, after win, after win, you and your teammates prove that. personally you didn't think the team could get any better, but when kise ryota joined you realized just how incomplete the team had been. six of you. you and five others make up the regular starting line up for teiko's basketball club. five of you are monsters in your age bracket, and perhaps even among older peers. then there is the sixth, kuroko tetsuya, is someone all of you recognize as the sixth member of the generation of miracles. that is what you all eventually come to be called. when you first met kuroko, you didn't see what he brought to the table, didn't think that he could or would amount to much, no one even really noticed him for the most part. but akashi saw his potential, taught him how to use his lack of presence to the advantage of the team. he comes to be known as the shadow to your sun. at first you respect his way of playing, he supports the team in a way no one else can. you are all different, murasakibara with his height and defensive blocking strength, midorima with his super high and unbeatable threes that he can make from almost anywhere on the court, kise who can copy almost any play he sees perfectly after only seeing it once, akashi who has the emperor eye, the ability to see what is coming next and make others 'stand down', and then there is you, you who seem to almost make the impossible possible. but kuroko brings all of you together, he makes all of your shine brighter.
at least he did until you all learned to shine brighter without him. all of your skills grow and grow after kise joins in your second year, but you blossom first and it gets to the point where teiko is doubling and tripling their app opponent's scores, worse then that, it is causing the other teams to hate you, to call you all monsters. it really didn't seem as though anyone could beat you all, and no one could, as it only got worse. all you wanted was for someone to hold a candle to you, but no one could, and the look in the other guy's faces when they lost, the numbness, the complete and utter confusion, the realization that they can not do anything against you, even though they trained so hard and wanted to win so badly. every time you see the light flicker out in their eyes, the absence of hope, the possibility that you will find someone who can stand against your dims further. you feel your own seeds of despair take root inside of you. kuroko is the only one to say anything when you start skipping practice. but you don't see the point in going when no one can beat you. teiko's motto was 'winning is everything, it's the only thing that matters', but with every win you got your love for the game was lost more and more. you didn't think you needed anyone to win any more, and neither did the others, kuroko was the only one, but in your mind that made him weak. his way was no longer respectable or worth it, he had to rely on you, his light, but you didn't need a shadow, and that was what you told him.
you are a prodigy, a miracle, god like even on the court, and what was the point in practicing if you were that good. you felt that all you needed was to show up for the games. the heart that you once had that beat for the game, the smile that had once been on your face during every second of every quarter you played, was also gone. the last straw was when you played an old friend, upon beating him like you did everyone else, pretty much tripling his team's core, he called you a monster and it was then that something inside of you broke. you realized that no one but you could beat you and you truly have up on teamwork after that. you played for yourself, depended upon yourself, would win for yourself. it barely shook you at all when kuroko quit the team, his way of playing didn't fit in with the rest of yours any more. you shut everyone out, and became lazy because what was the point in getting better when you were already the best? you took that mentality with you after graduation. along with the five other miracles you made an oath to go to separate schools to beat out all the other teams until only the five of you remained and one of you came out on top. never in your wildest dream did you think that kuroko would find another light as good as you. you didn't think kagami was as good as you at first. you crushed him like an insignificant bug the first time you challenged him to one on one. you didn't think he was worthy of filling the shoes you had left behind as kuroko's light. you never imagined that he might be the one you had been waiting for.
getting knocked out of the winter cup by seirin was unthinkable. you entered the zone and you should have been unstoppable, though it shouldn't have even gotten to that point. kagami and kuroko, along with the rest of their team had gotten a lot better than you could have anticipated. you were going full out, and so was kagami. the oath you made with the others, to be th last ones standing, to play against each other and see who was really the best, you were the first to break it. nothing could have prepared you for that game, for that loss, something you hadn't felt in such a long time. but kagami and kuroko, they played so hard and though it never occurred to you that you could lose against them, that's exactly what happened. for the first time in what was far too long you smiled while playing, you pushed yourself to go at a hundred percent, you didn't think you would ever ind someone who could stand against you but kagami did, and it brought that light back to your eyes, that drive that you use to have for basketball, and losing, losing to kuroko, made you see that you shouldn't have disregarded the way he plays basketball, you shouldn't have underestimated kagami, perhaps you shouldn't have been so full of yourself. it gave you a lot to think about.
however, not long after that game you wound up in elysion and you thought it was some type of vivid dream or hallucination brought on by the madness losing must have caused you to sink into. but even if you were going crazy you would have been able to call momoi, and yet when you pulled your phone from your pocket the call wouldn't go through, to her or to anyone else. adjusting to how different your life would be here in comparison to how it was in the world you had left behind, wasn't an task easy for you. before all you knew and loved was basketball, here you didn't really know who or what you were suppose to be in the grand scheme of things. you could still play ball, but without a goal to work towards, without the chance to prove you are the best against the best, what's the point really?