(by Chel Cajucom)
Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Lebron James and of course who could forget the most electrifying high-flyer in history, Michael “Air” Jordan? Nothing beats the sensation of having to watch a basketball game whether it is live, on television, by listening to the radio, or even at the modern times where some avid fans wait for the scoreboard updates on certain websites such as ESPN or Yahoo! Sports. The cheers and jeers of the fans show their enthusiasm and love of the game.
Basketball has been one of the athletic events with the most publicity. A consistent proliferation of interest has been drawn by this sport from fans all over the world from the time when the only equipment required were a soccer ball and a peach basket until today where the sport already has its own ball and the basket is comprised of a rim and a net. 360 dunks, reverse layups, fancy crossovers develop the fans’ interest in watching the game as players display their creativity on the court and attempt to score a basket. Early in the 1960’s, the late Wilt Chamberlain, former center of the Los Angeles Lakers and member of the basketball hall of fame, told teammate and fellow hall of famer Jerry West during a timeout, “Just throw the ball high in the air and I’ll take care of the rest.” West did as Chamberlain requested, and Wilt grabbed the ball mid-air and scored via slam dunk; thus, the alley-oop was invented and until today players still execute the said play.
This sport is not all about being fancy and showing off to the crowd. There will always be this spirit of competition among players and teams to determine who the best in the business is. Coaches, trainers and players take practices seriously and put their all out effort in the game to get that ever wanted triumph. Plays are done over and over again until the execution is perfect. Sleepless nights also bother some of the players whenever they deem that they didn’t put their absolute performance during the game. This is one of the dilemmas that constantly tremble star players, when they think that they were not able to carry the squad to victory. The good thing about this is that their dejection gets them motivated as they look forward to the next game as a day of reckoning.
From high school and college to professional basketball, the fans show their all out support for their favorite team especially in high school and collegiate basketball wherein students almost lose their voices by plainly cheering for their respective alma maters. Let’s not forget professional basketball, especially if the system is the same as the National Basketball Association (NBA) where teams are based on a certain state or city in the United States. The residents from that certain area line up just to watch their favorite teams play and represent the town.
Overall, basketball is a very enjoyable past time activity not only when we watch it but also when we get to play and mimic the players’ antics and specialty moves. It develops the spirit of sportsmanship within us everytime we step on the court either with peers or with newfound people. It creates camaraderie among us and expands our circles. It also serves as a good exercise and a healthy alternative as against being a couch potato whenever we have nothing to do. The late inventor of the sport, James A. Naismith has spoken, “I am sure that no man can derive more pleasure from money or power than I do from seeing a pair of basketball goals in some out of the way place.”