Love For The High School Basketball Game
The strangest thing happened Friday night. I took my two boys (both in elementary school) to the the 1st playoff basketball game of our local high school. I was pretty excited as I hadn’t been to a high school basketball game since I went to high school and I’m not about to say how long that’s been. We walk into the gym and I couldn’t believe my eyes…the stands were only half way full. There was only 15 minutes till tip off so I was confused. When I went to high school, the basketball games were a ritual…an event and everyone came out. We had really good seats so I guess that’s a plus but I chalked it up to a strange quirk of our local area. In most high school arounds the U.S., prep basketball games are the event I remember them to be. Let’s take a look at the the average high school basketball game.
High school basketball is the sport of choice in American high schools for winter. Football season has just wrapped up for most programs early November depending on their playoffs situation. It’s pretty common for high school hoop practices to start early November and actual games to follow a weeks after. The high school basketball game runs 4 quarters of 8 minutes and the season actually has many more games than prep football. It’s pretty typical to run 2 games per week one mid-week and one on Friday night which is pretty much a school event where most students start the weekend around it. In a typical season, you can expect about 60 games from November through February.
High school basketball is really one of the best parts of the entire high school sport world. No one’s wearing helmets and big bulky pads. It’s just 5 young players out on the court in a well-lit gym surrounded by not only fellow students and occasionally, the entire community. It’s all right out there in the open which is what’s so impressive about 14-18 year olds showing the composure and mental capacity to perform athletically. It’s tough and yet all over the country, high school basketball players are doing it with a sport that requires physical accuracy and precision. There’s more to a high school basketball game. The great thing about sports from the stands is a sense of a group of individuals all coming together as one. A group unity. You can feel it. Nothing magnifies this more than the enclosed space of a high school basketball game. All that energy is boxed in, amplified by the space. When a three point shot hits nothing but net, the explosion in the stands is palpable. You don’t just hear it….you feel it. That’s why basketball still brings out the crowds.
What the crowd doesn’t realize about the great high school basketball game they’re watching is the amount of time that went into the skills they’re seeing. They see the end result and get to enjoy it for a year but most of them don’t see the hours…even days of time spent since an early age to get down just the basic skills of dribbling and shooting. That’s the just beginning. You’re probably looking at 5000 hours minimum to get down the flow and strategy of the game. To find skill like this in a young person is impressive. Adding the mental coolness to this physical makes high school basketball amazing.