Awesome read, I love reading stuff like this.
I never played recreational basketball, but I did play national league basketball (very competitive) last year and the year before for my local team.
I played in the Under 18's competition (I'm 18 now, so It's up to the men's league next year). Anyway, in the UK, the country is split up into regions, North West (the league I played in), North East, etc, etc.
The season usually runs from mid-October to mid-March.
'07 - '08 Season
We were crap, we only had 4 wins and finished 4-14, which was terrible. I didn't play the entire season, I joined around 8th game or so. In the first 7 games of the season, the team went 3-4. Once I joined, we only won 1 game for the rest of the season and that was only a 10 point win over the worst team in the league, that hadn't won a game all season, they finished 0-18.
You can check those results here, http://www.englandbasketball.com/fix...s-results.aspx
Once you click on the link, chose the 07-08 season for Option 1
. Then, for Option 2
, select 'Under 18 Men North west Conference'. Then, for Option 4
, select 'Wirral Hornets'. Then click the Filter button at the bottom.
It will give all the results from our games for the 07-08 season. If you click on the 'Details' link on the side for each game, it will give the box score. Unfortunately, the leading scorers were never listed, but score sheets were always kept and given to the coaches. We also had our own statician to keep track of rebounds, blocks, assists, steals, shot attempts, etc.
Last season, our worst loss, probably came from Westleigh Warriors on January 13th. We lost by 1 point. There was about 25 seconds left, with 24 seconds left on the shot clock. However, the table officials started the clock well before our inbounder even recieved the ball. A couple of us noticed and tried to tell the refs. By the time the refs noticed, there was about 6 seconds left on the clock. We tried to get the time back up, but the refs wouldn't allow it and only gave us an additional 7 seconds, giving us 13 seconds total.
Total bullsh!t call. But the refs we had are known for being terrible.
Anyway, we had to call another timeout because we needed a new play, but we had none, so we had a team huddle (the 5 of us who were on) whilst the refs were sorting the clock out. We decided on a decent play, which actually worked. One of our players got completely free and had an open lane to the basket. He drove in, but got fouled by three players, no foul called (which was typical considering how bad the refs were), so he just threw the ball up off the back board and hoped for the best. The ball misses and there's a longish rebound, I chase it down and - que Hollywood theatrics - whilst diving across the floor tip the ball to our best shooter who is wating at the of the key. He shoots the ball, with no time left, everyone goes quiet and watches the ball as it gracefully rotates through the air. The ball then bounces around the rim and people start to gasp. As the ball takes it's last bounce off the rim, the eyes of the crowd begin to widen. The ball falls through the net and our bench erupts, all I remember now, is getting rushed by the rest of the team as they all charge towards the guy who made the shot.
However, this is where the refs even managed to out do themselves in this game. The table officals (remember their f*ck up from earlier?), well they thought that there was no time left when the ball was still in the shooter's hands. Bullsh!t. I was watching the clock when he shot the ball, there was 0.3 seconds left on the clock when the ball first hit the rim (yes, I do remember that). So, the refs decide that the basket was no good and the other team should win. We then had to endure the other team cheering and belittling us with taunts and dance. F@gs.
'08 - '09 Season
We started clicking. In the first half of the season (we played 16 games total this year, 8 before Christmas and 8 after) we went 5-3, So we already beat our previous season record in less than half of the games.
Our final game before Christmas was a memorable game for me. I had the flu and I really did not want to play at all. I was off school, missing the training sessions and felt like sh!t. I wasn't eating, I had no energy and I spent 16+ hours of the day sleeping or atleast trying to. I also suffer from depression, so having the flu, didn't really help with that either.
Anyway, since I was in such a crappy mood, I decided to get a mohawk, just to make myself feel a bit better. I don't know why it would have, but it gave me some relief. I also wore some long blue socks for the game, much like your's Lamar in your softball pics, but mine were ski socks and really fluffy (I'll try and get a pic of them). I wore them because I get chill blaines (what ever they're called) in my toes, so I have to keep feet warm.
Like I said, I didn't want to play in the game, but if I didn't play, we would have only had 6 players for the game, because other players were on holiday and working. So, I had to drag myself out of bed, walk through the rain and freezing cold weather to where I was getting picked up by my coach and then sit in a car for an hour to go and play basketball.
I couldn't even take part in the warmups because I was too busy throwing up and just trying to get changed.
Anyway, I think this was my first start of the season (I'm a bench player, my job is to raise hell and grab as many rebounds as I can), so I my mood was slightly elevated. I'm the best jumper on the team, so when I start, I always go in for the tip, but I just couldn't do it this time. The thought of jumping made me sick.
Anyway, I was struggling in the game, I couldn't run, I couldn't breathe, I was winded after litterally 15 seconds of play. During timeouts I basically just collapsed onto the floor and waited for play to resume.
What was wierd though, was that I was actually playing well. I think I finished with about 16 points and around 22 rebounds (one of my best games, statistically). We played a zone defense because there was no way I could chase my man around.
We ended up winning the game and I probably lost about 10 years of my life, but it was absolutely amazing. It was the worst I have been, in terms of being sick, yet it was one of my most memorable moments in my whole life.
After this game, I always wore my blue ski socks for games for good luck. I looked like a clown, but it was great. I will try and get a picture of this aswell.
After the Christmas break, we came back and put a beating on Westleigh Warriors (the team that beat us by one point last year). We destroyed them, 111-46. Everyone came to play that day and everyone played 100% for the entire game. Everyon had something memorable from that game. I pinned some saps shot off the backboard. I chased him down on the fast break and was coming from the opposite side of the basket. I jumped behind him and just managed to stretch for the ball and get it with my fingers, but I managed to get enough power to smack it off the backboard and send the ball down to the other end of the court.
After that, things fell apart. We lost 4 games in a row. I fouled out in 3 of them and was one foul short of fouling out in the other. 19 fouls out of a possible 20 over 4 games. Personal record - Oh Yeah!
3 of those games we lost by double digits and we lost the other by 1 point. Another heartbreaker. We had a 2 point lead with 10 seconds left. The other team had one foul shot to go and made it. So it's now a 1 point lead with 10 seconds left. We drew a play that should have worked, but the communication just did not happen at all. We turned the ball over and the other team srambled for a layup. 1 point deficit for us and about 3 seconds left on the clock. We take a timeout and advance the ball up the court. Simple play for an easy shot. The play worked and the shot was incredibly close, but it didn't fall. Another tough lose that was hard to swollow, considering we had a big lead earlier in the game.
We managed to win the last 3 games of the season to finish with a record of 4-4 after Christmas and an overall record of 9-7. A winning record, booyah!
Check the boxscores here for the 08-09 season;
This time, for Option 1
, select 08-09. For Option 2
, select 'Under 18 Men North West I Conference' and then select 'Wirral Hornets' for Option 4
again. Then hit the Filter button.
After the season, our coach decided that he was taking a break from coaching national league basketball and we all had a big goodbye thing. As a gift, he gave every player their jersey in a frame, which was amazing. I've got mine hung up at the top of the stairs, so it's one of the first things you see when you walk in through the front door. My number was 13. I will also try and get pics of that.
I know it's a long read, but it's a good read with a bit of drama and Hollywood theatrics thrown in for good measure.