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April 4th, 2014

Jumping Through Hoops

Intramural basketball is a timeless tradition at Montreat College. It has been going on for over six years and will continue to be one of Montreat’s most riveting events upon the arrival of each new season.
There was much talent to be found this year. Every team had players that emitted pure basketball ability. In fact, many players stole the court as if they were preparing for someone to recruit them to go pro. Eight teams competed fiercely against each other this season: The Average Jo’s, Back to the Future, Ballaholics, The Fighting Irish, Globo Gym Purple Cobras, The Chosen Ones, The Hogs, and We Have No Name. Though some were clearly more successful than others, each team demonstrated a commendable effort.
However, effort alone does not claim victory.
This is what several teams found out, firsthand, at different points in the season. Some succeeded, while others almost tripped and fell on their way down-court. Teams that proved to be forces-to-be-reckoned-with were The Hogs, The Average Jo’s, and Globo Gym Purple Cobras – who devastated many of their opponents. Players attempted to resist, but their attempts proved feeble in the wake of certain players’ incredible ability to sink three-pointers!

Other talent was found in Back to the Future, what many would call a “dream team.” As they faced their opponents, they did not always claim victory, but much of their opposition trembled in the wake of the impeccable basketball talent of Dr. Patrick “Silver Fox” Connelly. Sly and speedy, Dr. Connelly ruled the court for much of the season to claim several victories for his team. The imperfect records of The Fighting Irish, Ballaholics, and We Have No Name does not represent their talent. Despite not having enough team agreement to make an official decision about a name, We Have No Name gradually grew to be a successful force in their fierce drives and layups. The Fighting Irish proved to be a consistent defensive force, constantly utilizing their tall and swift players to retrieve the ball. The other teams were certainly not “lucky” to be facing them!
However, the most impressive thing of all was that all of this occurred during an extremely busy time in students’ semesters. At this point in the year, students often find themselves with multiple papers to complete in a week, and it can be difficult to manage. Many students find themselves jumping through hoops, trying with all their might to hold themselves together until the end of the semester. This will eventually culminate with the sudden arrival of finals week, for which no student is ever truly fully prepared.
Intramural Basketball season is a time that is simply necessary. Students need a source of hope, and in this case, spending time with your comrades, pushing your way through the opposing players to force a layup, is what brings hope. Hope isn’t always found in the typical. We can find hope in anything, even in the little things, if you look for it there.
In the small, close-knit community of Montreat College, I’ve found that what gives us hope in a stressful time is each other. Relationships are what hold us together. Friends who support you can give you just the push you need to get through times of unfeasible amounts of stress. Students typically rely on going out for food at 1 a.m.; however, this spring, fellowship through basketball is what gets our community through. People could be doing anything on their Monday and Wednesday nights, but the truly amazing thing is—people show up for Intramural Basketball. Some may take it too seriously…. especially considering how poor 75% of the players are at basketball! However, in the fierce fires of competition, Montreat finds it as a way to gather as a community.
I don’t know who will arise victorious this season, but I do know that what Montreat needs right now is basketball. It may seem simply like a sport being played by people who don’t have enough talent or are too old to make the actual team, but in the end, if basketball is what brings us hope, rejuvenates us, and unites us as a community, then let’s go shoot some hoops.