The first game of ABA Basketball launched last weekend at Moiola Elementary and I would say it was quite a success. This whole project stemmed from an idea I had regarding how many kids tried out for my high school basketball team and were turned away from the sport just because they didn’t make the team. I though creating a place where these kids can continue playing basketball on a competitive level was important for not only themselves but for the sport of basketball. This idea was also partially inspired by what Kevin Durant did during the time the NBA had a lockout about two years ago, his Basketball Never Stops Campaign, where he continued to play in neighborhoods and gyms around the nation to continue on the game of basketball despite that the NBA season was locked out partially.
I, along with other friends of mine, decided to make a Facebook page to promote our event and to encourage people to sign up and this is the link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ABA-Recreational-Basketball-League/1425252317705182 . We also have an Instagram @ABABasketball. Our logo is inspired by that of the original ABA where, as previously mentioned, was a very influential in the naming process as the old ABA League was a place of fun and playing basketball for the sake of loving the sport.
Our page includes the game schedules, updates on events, and it was a medium for us to contact the players and also to get people interested in playing to sign up. The sign up form was basically a Google Form that team captains or people wanting to sign up could fill out and join the league.
Honestly, getting teams to be assembled and getting players to join the league was our primary struggle as people felt as if playing in a fixed league might compromise other engagements they have or might impact with their normal schedule. However, eventually we were able to get several teams to sign up and we actually had our first game last weekend.
These are some pictures of the players getting warmed up, stretching, and shooting around prior to the game’s tipoff. Here are highlights from the game:
In the future, we intend to carry out the games and maybe try to expand to other sports as well or continue on the basketball league. However, if I was to do this project again, looking back I would have probably started earlier and done more with advertising the league so that it would have been easier to get more people to sign up.
Last Saturday, I saw what I would consider one of the greatest war films I have ever seen and it was completely by accident. I went with my friends to go watch the new movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, Her, but it was sold out. My friends and I then made a decision on the spot, with most of us loving manly action films, we naturally went with Lone Survivor. Despite the title of the movie and the opening science giving away the end, it is a non-stop suspenseful action movie that is a worthy and fantastic dedication to our troops. Mark Wahlberg did an excellent job producing this film and of portraying Marcus Luttrell, the survivor of Operation Red Wings. The whole cast did a fantastic job of taking on the personas of the real flesh and blood people they are dedicating their performance to.
The special effects and the costume/make up department did a fantastic job as they flawlessly recreated the injuries the SEALS sustained, from trauma wounds from falling down cliff sides to bullets and shrapnel. The several gory and agonizing scenes where completely necessary to accurately portray the reality behind the film, and to remind the audience that all of this was real. Actual people lived through the events in the movie. This movie was an emotional roller coaster as I laughed at the humorous scenes at the base, felt suspense in the action sequences, agony at the injury parts, and I teared up at the heart to heart, emotional sequences as well as the tribute at the very end dedicated to our troops. Okay, I’ll admit it…I almost cried….definitely got watery eyes. I can now add this to the list of movies that I have gotten emotional in and the list so far is Braveheart, The Notebook, and now this. This movie is near and dear to my heart as I had an uncle that was a Marine and I am actively involved in the Wounded Warrior Project. I felt it was a fitting and well made tribute to the story and you can tell the people behind the film really put their heart into it. It moved the whole audience. As soon as the movie was over, a USA chant was started in one corner of the theater and a standing ovation was given. The movie made my group feel proud to be an American and made us even more grateful for our troops as they put their own well being on the line to protect our livelihood and liberties. I highly recommend you watch this movie.
In addition, I would just like to provide an update on the recreational basketball league I am starting that I mentioned in my post High Flying Movies. The league, the ABA Recreational Basketball League, is starting to take shape as we have teams signing up to play and we are starting to gain a following over Facebook and Instagram. Our Facebook page is called ABA Recreational Basketball League and our Instagram can be followed at @ababasketball. We are in the process of editing our and releasing our videos just as the league starts to make the players feel like it is the NBA. We plan to make highlight reels of the teams and players while documenting the process of making the league along the way. In addition, with All-Star Weekend coming up in mid-February, we will host an All-Star event as well. Feel free to follow our pages and support the league, thanks!
With basketball season already in full swing, I have been glued to the TV watching my favorite match ups of the day while also keeping up with my fantasy team. In addition, I along with two of my friends are creating a basketball league for teenagers in our community, because we realized there weren’t any competitive basketball leagues at the high school level that were outside of playing for the high school or travel ball. Thus, we decided to work together and create one for kids who for whatever reason couldn’t play for their high school or they couldn’t afford travel ball. We have decided to name it the ABA, to bring back the notion of “let’s just play basketball and have fun” that was what kind of characterized the ABA back in the day where it rivaled the NBA. I will be posting a link to my basketball league’s page and videos in posts and be sure to keep all of you updated. However, to celebrate the launch of the beginning of our setting up process, I have decided to compile my favorite basketball movies.
1. Teen Wolf-1985
This classic 80’s movie stars one of the most iconic actors of the decade, Michael J. Fox. In Back to the Future, he played Marty McFly on his adventures through time with Dr. Emmett Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. In Teen Wolf, Fox plays an average teenager who happens to be on his school’s not so great varsity basketball team. On his team he isn’t a star but it is more like he’s just there (and the tension between the team doesn’t help). Along with the troubles of his basketball team, he is also troubled by average things like not being popular, school, girls, and oh yea being a werewolf. One night when he gets home, he starts getting a really funny feeling and rushes to the bathroom. Upon looking in the mirror, he discovers he is turning into some sort of monster and soon discovers it runs in his family, as his father is also a werewolf. Now, he isn’t like a new “Twilight” werewolf or savage by any means, in this movie he just becomes furry and also becomes more athletic. You can imagine there are few werewolves in your typical high school, so Scott (his character’s name) suddenly gets launched into stardom when in a game he fails to hide his alter ego. He gets angry during a basketball game and suddenly transforms into a high flying werewolf. This movie doesn’t focus so much on basketball the sport, but uses it as a medium to tell the story.
This is one of the quintessential basketball films as it is a story on not only the competitive aspect, but the philosophy behind the game. As far as the plot, it is similar to a more recent movie, Remember the Titans, in the sense that there is the plot development between a community and a new coach being brought in for the high school team. Similarly, the community at first is uneasy about the new basketball coach, Dale, and also that the town basketball star, Jimmy, refuses to play for Dale due to how he was so attached to the old coach. Dale introduces a new playing style that doesn’t quite yield the results the community hoped for and threaten to get rid of him. However, Jimmy decides to play and this turns things around for the team. The team ends up going to to the state championship and wins it all with everyone on the team stepping up along the way. This movie is an excellent movie, as to not butcher the beautiful messages and inspiration in the movie, I highly suggest you watch it if you haven’t.
3. Coach Carter-2005
This movie is an inspiring sports drama about the struggles of inner city youth and trying to balance basketball along with their other priorities. In this movie, the great Samuel L. Jackson plays Ken Carter, an alumni of Richmond High School, is newly coached to run the school basketball team. He is disappointed in the activities and behavior of the team and before he can teach them basketball he must team them about life. He forces them to study and has them sign contracts to make sure they wouldn’t neglect their studies. The movie really focuses on how life and sports are interconnected in both values and responsibilities. However, when drama occurs in some of the players’ lives and Carter’s son joins the team things get much more complicated. Carter is so serious about changing his players’ lives for the better that he closes the gym until the players improve their games. This movie is an excellent example of how sports relates to life and how it can be a medium for self-improvement.