Chasing Basketballs and Sweaty Towels

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BASKETBALL

High school was loaded with activities.  Everyday there were announcements about new ones.  One day, it was about basketball and decided to check it out.  I never played basketball formally.  None of the kids I knew owned a basket ball.  The playground at OLH didn’t have a backboard or a hoop.  One kid did nail a bushel basket that he cut the bottom out of to a telephone pole.  There was no backboard at all.  He used to shoot baskets that way.  It  was my only contact with basketball at that point.

The Mendel gym was on the second floor of the west wing.  It was short and the roof trusses were low to the floor.  Anyone trying to take a long shot had a good chance of hitting a truss with the ball.  Mr. DiGiovanni, a short and stocky man with a full head of back hair combed straight back coached the team.  His voice was soft and calm except when he was shouting directions to the players.

The day I went to tryout the team was there practicing.  I was amazed at how tall they were.  I hadn’t started growing yet and was very short.  Mr. D was nice to me and let me down gently, but he offered me the position of team manager.  I accepted immediately because I wanted to be part of the team.  The job involved keeping the equipment organized and ready.  I had to make sure a dozen balls were ready for practice and properly inflated. There were a bunch of sweaty white towels to handle too.

The sessions lasted from 4 to 6 p.m.  By the time I put everything away and caught the streetcar home, it was seven o’clock.  During the practice I sat on the sidelines and did homework.  I learned a lot about basketball that year because Mr. D was always teaching fundamentals.  Today, when I watch NBA games, I see violations of the basic rules at every game. NBA players are a big offenders of the palming rule.  Palming is holding and rolling  the ball over from underneath while dribbling.  Dribbling is supposed to be done by the pushing on top of the ball.  Palming allows the player to carry the ball in between dribbles. Palming goes in tandem with another NBA violation; walking.

I learned strategy, too, like zone defense and man to man, or a pick.  It was fascinating.  I can’t play the game, but I could probably coach it.

I went with the team to all games and kept the equipment, uniforms and towels straight at host gyms. I usually rode with Mr. D in his old Plymouth. During the games, I kept stats. It was important for the coach to know who scored baskets and free throws. He analyzed the stats during and after every game. If a player missed free throws Coach made him practice 50-100 throws. I would stand under the basket and return the ball to him.

Near Christmas break I got the flu and couldn’t go to school so I missed the instructions for what goes on with the team during the time off at Christmas.  Throughout the holiday season I kept thinking I should check with Mr. D to see if I should be doing something.  I didn’t even know if they practiced or not.

After the break, when school started again, I showed up for practice.  Mr. D really let me know how upset he was with me.  The team played in a tournament during the holidays and they practiced too.  I missed all of the fun of going to the games and let the team down.  I never missed another practice or game after that.

One thing I learned about athletes during that season is that they are aloof.  Although they were friends among themselves, I never became part of their clique.  I did become a part of the coach’s life though, and the priests who ran the sports program.

I finished out the season and earned my letter in basketball even though I didn’t play on the team.  I never received the award in person because I didn’t make the award banquet in the fall of the sophomore year. That is another story.

I loved being manager and I loved the sport.  I looked forward to the next season as manager provided that I didn’t make one of the other sports teams, like football.

Let the Defunding Process Begin

Why do we pass laws to keep us from feeding bears, but pass laws to make humans dependent on Uncle for subsistence? Progressives have a vision of a perfect world. One in which nature is preserved as is, and humankind is controlled for his own good.

When will we learn that the handout method only makes us more dependent? When will we wake up and realize that we are only a few moments away from losing the Liberty and Freedom that our Founders bestowed upon us. They were wise men, much wiser than those men of today who believe that men do not have unalienable Rights of Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness endowed by our Creator. Instead, the Progressives of today  believe that all men must share equally, and be cared for by they who are better than the the rest of us.

Like the bear, the Progressives know that if they eliminate a thriving economy, the rest of us will become hopelessly dependent on Uncle. Wrong, I’m here to tell you that those of us who know Liberty, and self-sufficiency will rise up and exercise our rights to defend ourselves from tyranny. It is for this reason that the Progressives must indoctrinate us to believe the Constitution is a tired old set of ideas that don’t work anymore. Well, I am also here to tell you that those tired old ideas have worked successfully for over two hundred years, while the Progressive ideas of socialism have failed on numerous occasions at the expense of millions of martyrs who stood in the way of their cause.

I have to give this new breed of socialist credit. They have invented many new strategies to overtake our country. Many of them have been successful, like the Cloward-Piven strategy, or the Alinsky Rules for Radicals which spawned ACORN. They have been relentless in their pursuit to overtake us and to turn us into their slaves. It is not too late to bring them down.

We must retake control and support every effort to undo the damage done by the current administration. Number one is to fire the current President. As we work on electing a new President we must begin tearing down every law that has ever been passed by Progressives. Start with Obamacare, continue to TARP,  the Community Reinvestment Act. All funding to any subversive organization like ACORN, SEIU, Planned Parenthood must be defunded; not supported as though they are the salvation of mankind. They are not. Each of them has been invented to bring down America.

We must secure our borders. Stop the flow of illegals coming in. All it will take is an effort to enforce current laws. We must stop the President from instructing the Attorney General to ignore the enforcement of laws that he believes are not in his favor. As I have repeatedly stated in my blog pieces, “we are a nation of laws, except those that don’t benefit a political agenda.”

Let the process begin. Get involved. Write to your Representatives. Let him know how you feel. Tell him how to vote on issues. Insist he stop the spending, and begin the defunding of damaging laws. Our voice must be heard.

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