No particular reason, other than the memories afforded.

Playground and mural
Bball court art
Eskimos play basketball on a court of ice near snow covered mountains.

Yard Ball 1
Playground baller 1
President Obama playground
Left hand drive
W 4th Court
Rural bball court
mongolian basketball court
street ball 2
Bronx Playground
Evening bball courts
Evening court 2
bball jumper
bball winter court
Chicago Winter Court


8 thoughts on “Hoops

  1. Does this mean you’re Jonesing for March Madness? My basketball skills are so primitive it almost hurts. I did play, was the sixth man (boy would be more accurate). But in high school I went on to wrestling instead (not particularly good at that either, so scientist has had to provide a way to make a living). Perhaps it is my inability to play even close to their level that draws me to the tournament. Will scour the brackets when they come out, and watch far more basketball than I should. Team play – its not just a human thing… but it is something we Homo sapiens do well.

    • It’s interesting how career paths are largely formed in high school, and earlier. The interesting combination of inherent abilities and various decisions that get made—by parents, by coaches, by the student. It seems to me that athletes and scientists tend to come from different pools, which I wonder about, since I was–and still am–both.

      I won’t be watching much of the tourney I’m afraid–no TV. But I’m not all that interested in it anymore anyway, because it’s so over-hyped and commercialized. I’ll try to see the Ohio State games, that’s about it. I like watching guys see what they got–and don’t got–on the playground, where they’re free to be fully themselves. It fascinates me, always has and always will.

    • Career paths – a big deal in the STEM arena. As more senior stakeholders, what can we do to interest the coming generation(s) and where should we target our efforts? I have to agree with you – high school and even possibly earlier – these are times when a lot of self formation takes place and molds us. So I like to be a judge at Science Fairs locally. Its great to see those who have made their own project and have a passion for what they’re into.

      But as we consider attempting to influence the young is there a point to far? At the extreme end I’ve recently seen (or heard?) a story of parents exposing their tiny ones – far ahead of even pre-school – to learning activities designed for stimulating interest in engineering and the like. This strikes me as going TOO far. But perhaps I need to calm down…

    • That’s great that you’re involved in science fair judging–kids need every last bit of encouragement they can find. Some just never get it at all. A big thanks for doing what you’re doing.

      But yep, that last one is going too far for sure.

  2. Some great shots here. Basketball was my game in high school and I spent countless hours shooting by myself. My father said “the only thing between you and a basketball scholarship is hard work.” While it is true that I am the approximate size and shape of Steve Nash, my father was WAY wide of the mark.

    • Thanks Matt; just scoured Google Images and grabbed what caught my eye.

      You know, I really think you must be my lost twin brother or something. 🙂

      I know exactly what you are talking about. Countless hours shooting jump shots, countless. In the gym, in the driveway, in the cold, solo or in pickup games, wherever and whenever. Where you lay down at night and you can feel the ball rolling off your fingertips as you start to descend from the apex, or the full body extension from trying desperately to see if you can finally slam it.

      Our parents say the things they think will motivate us best, and for sure, without a lot of hard work, you won’t get there. But reality is reality and that reality is very highly competitive, often moreso than we realize.

      I was an absolute wreck about 1 hour before my PhD qualifying exam, couldn’t function or think at all; fully gripped. What to do? Grabbed my ball, drove to the campus rec building, and shot jump shots for 20-30 minutes, and I mean as if I was Michael Jordan. It was like I was back in high school again for that 20 minutes. Left just 10 minutes before the exam started, showed up still perspiring, and aced it. I literally don’t know what I would have done otherwise.

    • That all sounds familiar. I don’t play much any more, saving my knees and ankles for hopefully a couple more decades of visits to the backcountry. But I can still walk out and stand where I used to stand in the seam of a 2-3 zone and drain one 18-footer after another. Shooting a basketball teaches a few interesting lessons about human capability. A basketball player knows instantly after release whether a shot is going in or not. The shooter has a lousy angle for viewing the trajectory, so the intuition about the path of flight is coming from somewhere else. There might be some muscle memory involved when I stand in my zonebuster spot, but the same sense of knowing the path of flight exists all over the floor, so there is something else going on as well. I was not a great shooter, but if I was concentrating and going straight up, and I avoided my chronic problems of having my elbow fly open or my wrist twist during release, the ball was pretty much going in the basket.

    • Yeah, I had to give it up a few years back also, primarily from having broken or sprained my ankles so many times.

      I’d say I learned more from playing sports than I ever did, or will, from anything else. There’s a sixth sense that’s developed, involving spatial relationships, rates of motion, trajectories, patterns, forces and momentum, etc., etc. And the mind works in a completely different way–a more comprehensive and integrative one–than in everyday activities.

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