Academic English

“Olympic Basketball – Script”

Listening Exercise

Listen to the recording and read along with the conversation. Review the key vocabulary and the sample sentences.

Hello everybody, and welcome back to a thrilling game at the Tokyo Dome with the US Team taking a drumming at the hands of the Japanese national team going into the second half, 51 to 26. The US Dream Team is made up of NBA veterans— supposedly the best we have to offer— but they need a miracle to dig themselves out of a hole and come back at this point.

Unfortunately for the Dream Team, their leading scorer, High-Fly Wilson, was ejected one minute into the second quarter after climbing into the stands and fighting with a spectator who had continually heckled Wilson for shooting three airballs in a row. Another bizarre moment came late in the second quarter when the Japanese center, Tomohiro Suzuki, suffered a concussion and was knocked out cold as he lunged for a ball and collided with the knee of one of his own teammates. There also have been several other injuries, including the loss of starting forward, Masa Harada.

Some of the coaches on the US team are attributing the team’s sluggish performance to some raw fish they had last night while attending a banquet in their honor. Next thing we’ll know, they’ll be blaming their players’ cement hands on a demonstration class on Japanese paper folding earlier in the week. Who knows what’ll be next. Okay, it looks like we’re ready for the second half.

Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

  • thrilling (adjective): exciting 
    – I watched a thrilling game on TV last night.
  • drumming (verb): receive a beating, lose by a large margin 
    The team received a real drumming from the national basketball team
  • dig oneself out of a hole (verb): get out of a difficult situation 
    – We couldn’t dig ourselves out of a hole when we were way behind in the game.
  • heckle (verb): bother and harass someone
    – The fans for the other team tried to heckle our players for having fouled one of their players.
  • lunge (verb): move suddenly toward something
    The players ran into each other as they lunged for the loss ball.
  • sluggish (adjective): moving slower than normal, poor performance 
    – He looked really sluggish during the first part of the game.
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