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“Away Games”

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on February 16, 2007

Basketball is played all over the world (and beyond, recall Darryl Dawkins and Planet Lovetron, and add to that the intergalactic display slated for this weekend in Las Vegas). On a more terrestrial level, there are a lot of interesting stories told about playing in unusual places. That’s the fun in it, right? Every game of basketball takes you somewhere new. Christine Bader, former NTL Hooper in NYC wrote a memorable piece awhile back: “A Night of Basketball in Manila”. One more recent basketball journey comes from Russ Bradburd. There is a nicely told review to help take you there, posted February 14, 2007 by Richard Kortum of East Tennessee State University on ARETE, a moderated e-mail discussion list hosted by The Sport Literature Association concerning “Paddy on the Hardwood”:

“Dr. James Naismith once proudly remarked of his invention, ‘I am sure that no man can derive more pleasure from money or power than I do from seeing a pair of basketball goals in some out of the way place – deep in the Wisconsin woods an old barrel hoop nailed to a tree, or a weather-beaten shed on the Mexican border with a rusty iron hoop nailed to one end.’

Driving across the treeless Mongolian steppe five years past, I glimpsed a most incongruous apparition. I had to rub my eyes. About a mile off the track there stood a lone sentinel: a tall wooden post with a single rough cross board and basketball hoop attached. Venturing off the beaten track in Mongolia requires that one be ready for just about anything. It’s the closest thing to being on another planet. But a basketball hoop? In the middle of nowhere? . . .”

more here

Thanks to Akira Motomura for the tip!

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8 Responses to ““Away Games””

  1. Sandy said

    That is lovely, thanks for the link–seems like a promising site, too: mixing sport and literature, why not? Two great things, like ice cream and hot fudge…. Your post also reminds me of the fun piece on the NTL website an alum wrote some time ago about going to a pro game in the Philippines–worth mentioning again in the context of hoops all over the world, I think. (http://www.nevertoolate.com/manila.html).
    ciao.

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  2. Hey Sandy – – Thanks for the reminder on that story by Christine. It’s such a fun piece. Even though you gave the url in your comment, I threw in the link in the post, too. Ciao to you, too.

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  3. Greg Herr said

    So what are the 10 basketball books everybody should read? These are a couple of my favorites, but they’re written by people outside the game (and they don’t help you play any better). I think these two are no-brainers for the top 10 but I’d love to hear other folks’ ideas…

    1) A Sense of Where You Are, John McPhee on Bill Bradley. A great writer, and a great subject.

    2) The Breaks of the Game, David Halberstam on the 78-79 Trailblazers (Hollins, Lucas, Walton et al). I’m realizing I haven’t read it in 25 years. Time to read it again.

    Is there a definitive Celtics book? Did Bill Russell or Connie Hawkins or Larry Bird write great books? Which ones?

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  4. Steve D Bzomowski said

    That hoop in the Mongolian steppe…I am going to find it (and dunk on it)

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  5. Steve D Bzomowski – – What? You been watching too much Greg Oden (the next great Boston Celtic) or something? Mongolian steppe, huh? Okay, name the best Mongolian basketball player ever. I’m waiting . . . then get back to your schoolwork!

    (Uncle) Steve A Bzomowski

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  6. (nephew) Steve D Bzomowski said

    Genghis Khan

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  7. yes! and i saw one of his descendants in an And-1 commercial! he does the slide-the-ball-down-both-arms, kick-it-off-the-back-of-your-foot and catch it in the crook of your neck, toss it down and dribble-it-with-your-forehead move even better than his great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather!

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  8. I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this info for my mission.

    Like

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