A year ago, seven basketball players from Bathurst High School in New Brunswick, Canada, were killed in a van accident on their way back from a road game. So the school certainly could have been excused for maybe setting the basketball program aside for a year or two while the small community healed from the tragedy.
But that wasn’t going to happen. Though the school did initially disband its basketball program, a new group came together in the fall to carry on the legacy of their schoolmates. And now, stunningly, they’re New Brunswick provincial champions. Bradd Arsenau, who survived the crash and is the only returning player from last year’s team, scored 25 points in the 82-50 win over Campobello. Arsenau wore the number 7 in honor of one of his fallen teammates and was named the game’s MVP.
With guys ‘roiding up all over the place and other guys driving around at 90 MPH with their small child in the back seat, it’s nice to hear a heartwarming story out of the world of sports every once in a while. And this story out of Milwaukee is one of those that can restore your faith in the meaning of sports.
Johntell Franklin, an 18-year-old senior basketball player at Madison High School in Milwaukee, lost his 39-year-old mother to cancer the afternoon of February 7th, just a couple of hours before his team was scheduled to play a home game against DeKalb High School from Illinois. Franklin declined his coach’s suggestion that the game be postponed. What happened the rest of the night is something that he — nor anyone in attendance that night — will ever forget.
Every team has a bad day or two over the course of a season. After all, Daniel Powter is still getting plenty of royalties from musical montages on ESPN, so even big name programs have their share of struggles. Most even find themselves blown out at least once, when matching up with a team that just has more talent. Well, Boulder (Colo.) Justice High School’s girls’ basketball team took that altruism to a new extreme in a loss to Greeley’s Frontier Academy, falling 94-1 on Tuesday night.
(There was an awful lot of this Tuesday night in Colorado.)
Yes, you read that right: 94-1. Justice High scored a single point, on a free throw in the third quarter. They trailed 48-0 at halftime.
“I’ve had 100 points scored on me before, and I think it’s important to respect the game and to respect your opponent,” Frontier Academy coach Nathan Buxman said. “We show the most respect for our opponents by continuing to play hard.”
Respect is one thing, but 94-1? That seems like a hard sell when trying to prove a team is actually “respecting” its opponent. At a certain point, aren’t you better off holding the ball and playing keep away?
As far as we can tell — and we’re read up a bit on the Bible (hey, the Old Testament is in the hizzy!) — Christianity is usually all about forgiveness and acceptance. At least that’s what the Jesuits and nuns told us before breaking out the rulers when we were in high school and college. So we were more than a bit surprised when we read the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES story about the junior varsity basketball team at Westside Christian School, in Largo, Fla., which had to quit the Suncoast Christian Conference so that Aliyah Farley could play on the team.
(Aliyah Farley: Why the SCC is now a 10-team league.)
Yup, you read that right. The Suncoast Christian Conference (SCC) refused to let girls play with boys, even when there’s nowhere else for the girls to play. What makes the decision even less defensible are the grounds upon which the decision was made: By a vote of 8-2 (with one abstention), the SCC decided that the risks were too great that boys and girls playing together could lead to sin.
Welcome back to the 18th century folks, and stay tuned for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s next best selling novel.
When a key senior is arrested for marijuana and gun possession the weekend before the game that can get your high school basketball team into the state quarterfinals, what do you do? Suspend him? Expel him? Give him a stern lecture?
Or do you make sure he’s on the court in the final moments so he can pop home the winning basket as the buzzer sounds? If you’re Lafayette (LA) High, you choose the latter. After all, who’s going to guard the guy with the gun? Savvy.
If a Jewish high school basketball team reaches the regional championship, they might have to forfeit since the game is on a Saturday.
Saturday, March 8, is the tentative date for that game. But Jewish law forbids athletic activity from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, and the Colorado High School Athletic Association has denied a request from the school asking to move the date of the game. Read more…