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The season for basketball

By Clif Knight

The season is for basketball

Watching basketball is a good thing to do on winter days when it’s too cold to be outside. Geanell and I are locked in on SEC games, especially on Saturdays when all 14 teams are competing. Our interest level skyrockets when either Alabama or Auburn is playing. Both teams are having outstanding seasons. Alabama is leading conference standings with a perfect 7-0 record and is ranked fourth in the nation. Auburn is close behind after winning all but one SEC game and ranks among the nation’s top 25 teams. Both are projected to be among top seeded team competing for a national title when the NCAA Tournament is played in March.

Both are headed for a knock down-drag out clash when they play each other twice later this season. The tide features the all-around talents of a freshman player who leads his team in scoring and is being touted as a projected first round pick in the next NBA draft.

The Tigers have a seasoned team with the potential to become the NCAA winner.

A high level of interest is also being experienced in high school basketball teams from the Hartselle area. The girl’s and boy’s teams representing Hartselle High School have winning records and are making runs to win regional tournament titles. Priceville High’s girls team and West Morgan’s boy’s team are celebrating as Morgan County Tournament winners and are expected to do well in regional competition.

The game has changed a lot since Geanell and I played on junior high teams more than a half-century ago. Our gym was similar to the old gym still being used at Danville High. It had only two rows of bleachers on each side, two goals and a lower ceiling. The game was played on a rougher scale with fewer penalties called. Girls played on half court with five player on one end and five players on the opposite end. The game was not played in high school. Games were played in the afternoon after school. Admission was 10 cents for students and 25 cents for adults.

Game balls were a prized possession. We had only one at our school. It was stored in the locked locker of our principal and was removed for games only.

My brothers and I had a court with a single made with scrap lumber and an iron rim from a wooden barrel. Our ball was handmade on a sewing machine and stuffed with lint cotton.