Letter From Granma

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Basketball….3rd Grade Style

on February 1, 2015

Okay, I must admit that when I was in elementary school (way back when), we did not have a basketball team until the 4th grade and did not play competitively until the 5th…and that was the boys…never the girls.  Girls could cheer or if they didn’t make the cheerleading squad, they would spectate and giggle together while watching their favorite player.

Well, not anymore.  There is basketball for girls and boys beginning in the 3rd grade.  Of course I assumed, mistakenly, that the 3rd graders would learn the basics and become familiar with the game, never dreaming that they would compete with other teams and other schools.  Boy was I wrong!  (It amazes me how “wrong” the 3rd and 5th grader continue to prove me.)

At the beginning of the season the Saint Gregory the Great Saints 3rd grade girls team was just learning to dribble and now they are playing the game.  After several weeks of competition, the girls played the Searays from St John the Apostle at 8 AM yesterday morning.  (Yes, you read it correctly, 8 AM on Saturday.)  It was the first game that I had the opportunity to see.  It was definitely an experience I will not soon forget.  The most exciting part of the game…the girls scored their very first basket!  Yes, the girls were excited, but OH MY, you should have watched the parents in the bleachers!  They were more animated than a Disney cartoon.  For the remainder of the game, I found that I watched the parents almost as much as I watched the girls.   I listened to the parents as well.  This team definitely had a 6th player…the fans!

3rd grade bb jan 31 3rd grade bb jan 31 3 3rd grade bb jan 31 7 3rd grade bb jan 31 4 3rd grade bb jan 31 8

The final score…2 all.  It was a tie.  The opposing team scored in the final seconds.

Later in the day, the 3rd grader complained,  Why didn’t we have “Overtime”?  I assume that the rules for 3rd graders allow regulation play time only.   She did not like that rule.

One other observation.  The referee.  He was up and down the floor all game long and heard the cheers and jeers from the stands.  You could tell he was thoroughly enjoying himself.  My biggest regret of the morning…I did not ask how long he has been a basketball fan.  You see, he looked to be in his 70’s and was definitely keeping up with the girls and the game.  I am guessing he is someone’s very special Grandpa.

Post Script…

Did you know that AAU Basketball teams begin with the 2nd grade?  There are AAU Basketball National Championships and the opening division begins with the 3rd grade?  The championship game was held in Orlando last year and the date for 2015 is July 23rd.  The game is even covered by ESPN.


Wow, how sports have changed!


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