“Out of the Mainstream But Into Their Hoops!” (Part One)
Posted by Steve Bzomowski on March 5, 2007
I like basketball because in its soul resides the ideal of inclusion. As much as or more than any other sport (that is played with a round ball and a hoop) games are won, success achieved, when players trust one another and come together. Coaches (smart coaches, anyway) devote as much time to the concept of “team” and “trust” and “chemistry” as they do x’s and o’s. In practice and in games, they spread out, screen, cut, work together, move the ball, get the ball to the open player. But they also foster cohesion: “always help a teammate off the floor”; “get your hands together, everyone in here”. High fives, chest bumps, holding hands, crying . . . All that stuff doesn’t work, means nothing, if you’re squeezing someone out. Team defense. Help defense. Players accepting roles and thriving in those roles. I accept you and trust you; you accept me and trust me; we believe in one another. We understand our limitations, put to good use our strengths. Teams lose and win together or risk never find meaning or success. And once again, sport mimics life.
Funny after reading Alex Beam’s column in The Boston Globe today on Mitt Romney’s chances of getting elected given his Mormon faith, comes this worthy article in today’s NY Times:
U.N.L.V. Forward Does Not Lack Family Support
“When the cheering section for Joe Darger is at full strength, it includes his father, his mother, his 18 siblings and his father’s other wife.
They wear red T-shirts, blow on red noisemakers and wave red pompoms. They appear no different from any other group in the U.N.L.V. family section — only larger and louder.
“We cheer for all the players,” said John Darger, Joe’s father. “We like to get a little rowdy.”
John Darger is married to Carollee Darger, Joe’s mother. He is also married to Elizabeth Darger, the mother of eight of his children. He calls himself a polygamist.
His children range in age from 2 to 40, with Joe in the middle at 20. A 6-foot-7 sophomore with spiky blond hair and a feathery shooting stroke, Joe is the most accurate 3-point shooter on the Nevada-Las Vegas basketball team. The Runnin’ Rebels, 25-6 after a 65-47 victory over Colorado State on Saturday, are poised to qualify for the N.C.A.A. tournament next week.
“I think we’re going to be on the road for a while here,” Carollee said. . .
(Thanks again to Nelson Wang for the head’s up!)