Friday, January 9, 2009
Basketball is Our Game
We started Upward Basketball through our church. For anyone who is unfamiliar with Upward sports, they have a great program. Each week in practice they have a devotional and memory verse. The kids get rewards for memorizing scripture and displaying Christian virtues during the season. Each game is began with prayer, and they have a devotion at halftime. It's pretty cool.
So, now that I've given you the skinny on Upward, it's time to begin bragging. Who knew that my reserved little Bookworm could be so aggressive? Last week she only let her opponent have the ball twice, and this week only once. You see, another thing about Upward is they have clips on their uniform that helps them understand who they are to guard. This prevents all of the kids from swooping down on the unfortunate soul who has the ball. Anyway, Bookworm has defense DOWN. She is not letting her opponent have the ball.
Ummmmm, have I ever mentioned she's kind of....well....to put it delicately, she's......welllllll....kind of......SHORT. Do you see the little one in front of the tall one in the above shot? That's my little one. She is a head shorter than most of her opponents. But, that doesn't stop her from guarding them. She even got elbowed in the nose TWICE and kept playing!
Seriously...who is this girl? Is this the same child that when I instructed her to run in the house for her homework as fast as she could (she'd remembered it on the way to school, so I turned around and went back) said "I hope I don't sprain my ankle trying to run." No kidding, she said that. Is this the same child who cried because she hit her hand on the coffee table last night and cried for nearly 10 minutes, at the top of her lungs, wailing, clutching her hand, and rocking back and forth on the floor? Is it? I gotta wonder.....
She has defense down, but offense? She doesn't want to have the ball. I asked her about it, and she said she didn't want to dribble it past half court because "Casey could steal it." That's another rule. They can't steal the ball until it's past half court. So, Bookworm will dribble to half court, stop, and pass it to one of her teammates. I guess that's her self preservation since I'm sure most of the others seem like Amazons to her. We're going to work on dribbling with someone guarding her at home this week. Studmuffin said she won a game of Gotcha this week, so I know she can actually make baskets if she'll just shoot them! Of course, that's without these girls towering over her, blocking the shot too!
Now, Popcorn....She loves basketball too. Last week she got a white star, which represents playing like Jesus would play. In her case that meant with a smile the entire time....And reminding her opponent to guard her. If the girl guarding her happened to wander off, Popcorn would go get her, and show her the clips so she would be guarded. She laughed and smiled the entire game. So did I.
The 1st and 2nd grad league is so much different than 3rd and 4th. They do not steal the ball, and very seldom do they block a shot (back to Bookworm for just a sec....She totally stuffed her opponent one of the times she got the ball. I cheered like a lunatic.) And if the ball starts to go out of bounds....they all just watch it bounce away. It's hilarious. If you're wondering which one is Popcorn in the above shot, she's the one on the far right in white. They are all trying to get the rebound. But none of them actually move to get the rebound. They all just hold up their hands, watch the ball, and whoever it lands closest to grabs it, and half the time takes off running with it down the court. Sometimes dribbling, sometimes not.
The little ones get lots of leeway. If they pick up the ball and run, the ref usually just yells "DRIBBLE! DRIBBLE!" Same thing with double dribbling. If the little one picks it up, the ref will tell them "Pass the ball now! Pass it!" Or "Take the shot!" It's so funny.
Hey, I was just previewing this post, and realized I need to explain something about the pictures (other than the obvious fact that I'm NOT a photographer.) There are 2 games going on at once. We lower the side goals to 8 feet for Popcorn's age and 9 feet for Bookworm, so they actually only use half the court. The older age group do full court, regulation height basketball.
Well, I could go on all day, but I won't. I need to put away the Christmas tree. And do laundry. And take a nap....Maybe I'll skip the first 2 and go straight to a nap.....