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A Passion for the Game, A Passion for People

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on November 19, 2013

IMG_5055.JPGIn the pros, I get it; it does not necessarily follow that to absolutely thrive you need to care as much about the people as you do the game. Yes, to build “team” you need trust, and you need some major level of trust to win. (Jordan had to trust Paxson; Bird had to trust DJ, etc.) But, you could be traded at any moment; so could your teammates. There’s that issue of the big contract you are trying to win, and your family, your reputation, your legacy. I think in the pros you are not playing – not loving – the game because of those around you.

College? Maybe a little tighter. You might room together, maybe take some classes together. Spend a year or two or four with the same crew. But is there a commitment to the game that comes directly because of who you will see on the court the next time you go there? College teammates are surely close but the reasons to play are many: yes, your teammates, but also the scholarship, the fans, your parents.

The regular pickup game is another story. Here’s one of those stories:

The Mayor and her people lacing them up.

We see this connection between a passion for the game and a passion for people every time we step on the court at Never Too Late Basketball, whether it be a weekend camp, clinic, or the Play Forever League. There’s a beauty to the game and the recreational player gets to feel that every time he walks onto the court, every time she huddles, every moment shared after the game to talk about, to relive, those moments. It’s a precious thing to play basketball for fun made all the more precious because the essence of this game is to share it – on the court and off – with others.

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2 Responses to “A Passion for the Game, A Passion for People”

  1. Steve Bzomowski (nephew) said

    Great post, powerful stuff. I love the quote from the article, talking about the social space and community that pick-up games create, and the “80,000 positives that come out of that”.

    Like

  2. Steve Bzomowski (nephew) said

    Also, made me think of the summer I spent in the Dominican Republic. Each week I traveled to different Haitian/Dominican migrant communities studying different non-profits, ngos etc doing community work in each place. I ended up playing quite a bit of pick-up basketball that summer too – I had basically no Spanish (or Creole) under my belt at that time, and these games were awesome ways for me to connect with locals. These games were fierce too! And even though there were arguments, and chippy play sometimes, you could really see the things you and the article mention in motion, was fascinating stuff.

    Like

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