Ad Spot

Basketball is for everyone

By Staff
Justin Schuver, Sports Editor
There's something truly unique about the sport of basketball.
In football, if you're not strong or tough you might as well save your money on those cleats and pads. If you can't hit a curveball or throw a laser to first base, then baseball's probably not the sport for you.
In basketball, you can be 5-foot-nothing, 100-and-nothing, but if you can knock it down from behind the three-point line there will always be a place for you. You might not be blessed with the greatest height or strength, or even athletic ability, but if you can play in-your-face defense and hustle to loose balls then you can excel on the basketball court.
No other sport has the kind of David-beats-Goliath lore as basketball. Even the very phrase "Cinderella team" was coined on the basketball court before making its way into the jargon of other sports.
The stories are endless. Who doesn't know the tale of tiny little Milan High School's upset win over powerful Muncie Central High School in the Indiana state championship – a story that was immortalized in the film Hoosiers?
Every March, there's always a group of teams who make a name for themselves by upsetting a higher-ranked seed from a major conference. Because of the NCAA Tournament, names like Bucknell, Weber State, College of Charleston and Coppin State will forever be a part of basketball history.
And then of course, there's the ultimate underdog stories themselves, the tales of teams who defied the odds to win it all – Villanova's NCAA championship after starting the tournament as a No. 8 seed and North Carolina State's unbelievable upset over the University of Houston's Phi Slamma Jamma.
In what other sport would you find a holder of a major record who is not a player, but a physician? Dr. Tom Ansberry of Orange County is the world free throw record holder according to the Guinness Book of World Records – hitting 2,750 in a row.
Basketball's also truly the great equalizer because anyone can play it anytime. All you need is a ball and a hoop with no extra equipment. You can play a one-on-one game, a full-court five-on-five game, or special games like HORSE and Around the World – no other sport is as flexible.
The game is so flexible that it's one of few sports that even offers opportunities for handicapped fans. The country is full of leagues for wheelchair-bound hoops fans, and even a professional circuit called the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.
And finally, basketball is the truly equalizing game because of its unique pace that guarantees most games will be close. Even when your team is down by double digits, all it takes is a few good shots and some defensive stops and you're back in the game.
This year, our local teams have set their sights on their own dreams of reaching the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center and finishing as state champions. Let's give them all our support as they try to write some lore and make some Cinderella stories of their own.
Oh yeah. Apparently, there's also some big football game this weekend or something:
Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1) at Auburn Tigers (8-2): This is the big one. Every year, you can throw the records out the window and the entire state devolves into a re-enactment of the Civil War. Wives turn against husbands; brothers turn against sisters; probably even somewhere you'll find dogs turning against their owners.
Auburn's an anomaly in the SEC this season – a team that actually scores points. They've done a pretty good job of staying under the radar as well, after losing an early game to Georgia Tech they've been competitive in every game since.
Alabama's slim chance at the Rose Bowl is gone now, but there's no reason they still can't make BCS glory. A win over the Tigers would give the Tide a 10-1 record and make them very attractive as an at-large BCS team. They get it done…Crimson Tide 24, Tigers 21.
Syracuse Orange (1-8) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-2): I needed to fill some extra column space…Fighting Irish 56, Orange 10.

Hartselle

Hartselle man guilty of rape of juvenile 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Police Department looks to fill six positions  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

New manufacturing program at Hartselle, Limestone schools 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Home Sweet Hartselle mural painted on Sparkman Street

Hartselle

Hartselle woman named to Inno under 25 

Hartselle

Volunteers, sponsors needed for Stars Over Hollywood prom 

Hartselle

Crowd gathers for 41st annual Depot Days 

Decatur

A heart for the arts: Hartselle art program receives River Clay grant

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Chiropractor released after charge of poisoning wife back in jail  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan employees in line for 5 percent pay hike  

Hartselle

Chiropractor charged with poisoning wife released on bond 

Editor's picks

Hartselle homecoming kick-off showcases school spirit

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Depot Days returns Saturday  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Fitness Court unveiled at Sparkman Park  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle man allegedly poisoned wife with lead in murder attempt  

Hartselle

Crestline students enjoy third annual Ag Day

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Highway 36 reopens east of Hartselle 

At a Glance

Hartselle man eludes police, arrested on possession charges

Breaking News

Hartselle man arrested for attempted murder of wife

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

In the community: Highflying fun

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle City Schools second graders kick off civic education

News

Dairy production facility closures impact Alabama schools

MULTIMEDIA-FRONT PAGE

Brewer High consumer science class gets new kitchen after 50 years

News

In the community: Sunflowers and summertime

x