LIFESTYLE: H.S. HOOP
Washington is a basketball state - plain and simple. That may not have always been the case but for our generation of young athletes hoop has been king. At 'Late Night' YMCA's throughout the inner cities playing on the courts is a stepping stone and part of the journey in growth to being the best. It is a chance to play freely (your game, no AAU coaches/parents) against kids that are all types of ages from different schools and different skill sets. Then there is the demanding life of AAU ball and travel ball or playing hard enough to be invited to play for a travel team. It's the goal of more kids than can be counted. With great schools like UW, Gonzaga and Oregon being contenders in the PAC10 the joy of playing on D1 hardwood doesn't seem far.
In Tacoma we have seen players like Jason Terry and now Isaiah Thomas take their skills through the journey and come out clean on the other side, inspiring the youth to continue to chase and grow for the sake of the aspirations. Basketball camps are at all-time high and so is the attendance. All of these elements make our beloved H.S. Hoops even more entertaining. Kids have perfected their game enough facilitate scoring 30+ points while involving their teammates. Dunks, crossovers and alley-oops can happen in the blink of an eye and it's enough to keep the seats filled.
It's been years since I've had the pleasure of attending games but I made it my mission this year to get out and carry on the timeless tradition of supporting the youth. Showing up gives players another reason to bring their best. You play to the crowd, audience energy often fuels comebacks and it's a one of a kind feeling to be apart of that. I encourage everybody everywhere to make use of those Friday night games and mingle with your town folk it's a community experience that we don't take for granted. Plus there is no energy like state, cross pollination of communities causing a chaos that fuels some intense games, games that give players the boost they need to get to their D1 dream destinations. It's a timeless tradition that has always been inspiration for eTc and always will be.
During state we'll have someone covering as many games as possible and making note of highlight moments.