Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Homeschool Basketball

As soon as the schools in the area finished up with volleyball, we started playing basketball. Although I enjoy volleyball, basketball is my favorite. I played Division I basketball in college and coaching my kids and at times playing against them has been a real joy and great exercise. All of the kids love practice, Sarah is so cute doing her stretching exercises.
As was the case with volleyball, the public school here in Nondalton didn't have any high school age kids interested in playing basketball. Last year the district let homeschoolers play with the team in their village including traveling if it didn't incur any extra expense. This year the district changed its policy and decided not to let homeschoolers play even home games. Several Jr. High kids joined us as we played and at the semester break a high school student who had been away at boarding school decided to stay home for the second semester. He wanted to play basketball so the principal asked me if I'd coach him. So, he joined our homeschool team for practice and traveled to the district event by himself.
Sarah is a big hit with all the kids.
Newhalen, the next village downriver, has a very successful basketball program (they made it to the state semi-finals this year) and they play as many games as they can throughout the year. Once the lake froze over so they could drive across it, their Jr. High girls team came and played us. We borrowed the school's uniforms and had a great time!
We had a good turn out from the village for the game and afterwards we had several more Jr. High kids join the team.
Newhalen hosted a Jr. High tournament and invited us down. Paul and one of the other parents drove the kids across the lake. They spent the night and came home the next evening. They got to return the next day for the championship game so I piled the little kids in the pickup truck and Lavonne, Regina and I followed them across the lake down to Newhalen. The road was very icy...
Quentin & Josh A.



Anna, Quentin and Deborah


Anna was a favorite at the tournament. She is only a fifth-grader but she's tough. She would set a screen and get plowed over then jump back up. Everybody cheered her on.


We came in second in the Jr. High B team division.

Abigail and Deborah made the All Tournament team.

They had a big bonfire after the tournament with hot chocolate and marshmellows. It was quite dark by the time I followed Paul as we drove back on the icy road. Yikes!!
We invited the ladies in Nondalton to play us in a game. It was a blast having Mom's playing against their kids. We played two platoons. The older kids and then the younger kids. The older kids would go ahead and then the ladies would catch up. The ladies complained when the taller kids were playing and asked us to put the short kids back in. The kids won.
So, the next time we played, I played with the ladies so the tall Brendemuhl kids would have someone to stop them. The ladies won in a close game. I was really surprised at how well Abigail played against me. Her arms are so long and the referee (Paul) didn't keep her from wrapping them around me. When we got home we got out the tape measure and discovered that Abigail at 5' 9.5" is only one inch shorter than me. After the next game we got out the tape measure again and found out that her arms are actually longer than mine! I knew it! I suppose in a couple of years when Deborah and Quentin get taller, I won't have a chance.
We played one more game and Paul did a masterful job of mixing the younger kids and the older kids (not easy when they range from 5th grade to 10th grade). He kept the game close the whole way and it ended in a very exciting tie. The kids won in overtime. I think it was because of their superior conditioning and the fact that they had 12 kids to our 5 ladies.
We played one more game. Port Alsworth, the closest village up the lake, brought three players and they played three on three against our top four players. We won the first game and the older kids rested while the younger kids played against each other. Then the older kids played again and Port Alsworth won in overtime.

The little boys loved the fact that we brought the uniforms home to wash them.


1 comment:

Walter Tully said...

Looks like the kids had a lot of fun! Really, sports can get kids to be active, both physically and socially. Basketball's an excellent activity, indeed!