Archive for the ‘Basketball’ Category

go Blue Dev…???

9 November, 2018

I can’t bring myself to say it.

My boss, is huge UNC basketball fan, and so I’ve been conditioned to type things like dOOk or worese when referring to Coach K’s squad.  (It doesn’t help that they have had such esteemed players such as Chris “chest stomper” Laettner …sorry, Dream-Team-Olympic Gold Medalist “chest stomper” Laettner, or  their tradition of flopping, or Grayson Allen .)

I hear, that d00k this year has an amazing team. Allegedly they have the #1, #2, #3 and #9 recruits from last year. And they quickly destroyed the #2 team Kentucky the other day.

So, I say, “Go for it, Coach K. Show everyone that one-and-done is silly. That some players have such skill that they are wasting their time taking classes. Crush every team you face by 30. Make college basketball not fun.”




Storm -v- Mystics

23 September, 2018

Game #1 – would’ve been a fun one to attend.

Game #2 – was awesome… Sue Bird scrambling, in traffic, after a loose ball, and jacking up a last second shot for three that goes in. Beautiful. I have watched it many many times. As she was launching that crazy shot, MrG said “skill” and it went in.

game #3 –

exciting game – six lead changes, seven times tie-game… and close enough at the end that I was still thinking “It could go either way, this is a Seattle team after all”…and Howard had five fouls and Bird’s nose started bleeding again.
I felt sorry for LaToya Sanders (Mystics)… ball going out of bounds, last touched Mystics, Stewart boxed out Sanders, somehow Sanders jumped around, flipped the ball in, Mystics got it, and easy two points. Sanders reward for her awesome hustle play, evidently the side is a bit lower than the court (!) at GeorgeMason University and Sanders had a horrible looking twisted ankle.
Whitcomb (UW alum), off the bench, had two big misses, Bird told her “keep shooting”…Whitcomb then got two from deep, and two steals.
I wish I knew more about basketball. It looked like each team changed their defensive assignments and offensive game plans to start the game each game. Which I guess is to be expected in a playoff series.
Championship parade… me and MyBetterHalf went….the boys didn’t want to, MsS was with GirlScouts climbing trees. Nothing like standing in the rain chanting “LETS GO STRORM” with five thousand people.

Storm -v- Mercury

7 September, 2018

from a week ago… I forgot to hit “Publish”

Bird and Taurasi were teammates at UConn…forever ago. This year they were #1 and #2 for Assists/Game.

…seconds left in the game, Taurasi gets the pass, dribbles to corner, Bird practically draped over her, and she makes the three to send it into OT.

Bird was in shock, they had been up by eleven, and now going into overtime. She sat on bench, for a whole 1.5 seconds in shell-shock, and then started yelling encouragement & direction to her team.

Taurasi was livid when she didn’t get the call on her last shot as time expired. … Although it wouldn’t have mattered, they were down by four, and she shot a long two. She glared at the ref for her walk off the court, and for good measure spat on Seattle’s court as she left.

Let’s see… Stewie (6’4″) of the Storm (my bobblehead) is this year’s MVP.  The Mercury have 6’9″ Brittney Griner, first woman to dunk twice in a single game.

We’ll just add that the Storm are better people, because Taurasi leads the league in technicals, …and Griner is tenth place.  (Just kidding. I hear Taurasi and Griner are awesome people, excellent role models, and I would be honored if my kids took after them.)

Speaking of fouls… props to young point guard Jewel Loyd of the Storm, she took two hard fouls in OT to help SEA win game two. (Griner fouled out in OT, because she decided to punch someone in the gut as they ran past her. Taurasi whacked Loyd in the throat while they were trying to get a rebound.) 

…and then I watched Game #3… and that wasn’t much fun.

Don’t want to remember game #4.

Game #5… I watched with the family. MrGrunty was yelling at the coach in the first half. I told him, there’s a lot of game left, and Phoenix is getting fouls on their star players, it’s still good. MrCuddles was next to me on sofa and we would give each other hi-fives when something good happened, and he would yell “that’s a travel” when the Mercury did something good.  Then, really exciting fourth quarter, back and forth… Loyd and Howard doing the little things, Whitcomb stepping up… and Bird being amazing. (You have have seen a few tweets about Bird. My favorite was “I WOULD LIKE TO FORMALLY APOLOGIZE TO SUE BIRD FOR NOT NAMING ALL THREE OF MY SONS AFTER SUE BIRD” by Shea Serrano.)

AND now…been excited all day… tip off for game 1, SEA -vs- WASH  (which MsS finds funny) in twenty five minutes.

Storm v Sparks

30 June, 2018

the other day we went to watch Storm vs Sparks

Fun was had

I’m always happy to witness Sue Bird get a double-double  (assists & points, with a couple steals tossed in for fun)

Winter sports 2018

12 April, 2018

MrC – no sports  

MsS – gymnastics

MsS got promoted to the next level, unfortunately, her BFF didn’t get promoted. She wanted to quit, but we talked her into going to first one, I was lucky enough to be able to take her to a couple sessions. After her first session, she had fun, recognized a few other kids and even was chatting with them. It was awesome, for the warm up, to see her jogging around the gym with teenagers. So much exercise, and working on one little skill, so they can put it all together perfectly. One night there, I was reading, because I don’t want to stare. (Also, good thing, they keep the parents up and away from the students & coaches. A good thing.) Anyway, I heard a cow bell, looked up, and there was a girl ringing the cow bell on the ceiling, 30 feet up, while hanging from a rope. MsS got her chance to climb the rope. I think she got her body six feet in the air before climbing back down. My daughter is getting stronger, and braver.

Mr G – basketball

Game #1 – January 7.  Before the game I was rolling my eyes at the game before us. This competition would be weaker than MrG’s squad he had with CoachRicco & CoachFrank last Winter (and Spring for tournament). How was he supposed to get better (and maybe make the select squad next fall if he was playing weaker competition. Yeah, I’m kinda crazy. One of his classmates, in an effort to get on a select team, is actually playing in two leagues this year. MrG tried out for select basketball, didn’t make it, was told “need to be more aggressive”)?  Well, quickly MrG had his finger prints on the game and had a steal and a block within the first two minutes.

Game #2 – January 14. MrG started the game agressive and had the first basket for his team. He was hustling on defense, those things that don’t show up on the stat sheet: slowed down the fast break, hustled back and fouled the shooter to stop the easy shot. He went in for a shot in traffic, had a fast break layup, jumped up and grabbed a rebound. He had a high energy game.

He was upset at the end of the game, time ran out and the ball was in his hands with his team losing by two. He told me he made a mistake on the play they were supposed to run. (He also mentioned a few other mistakes his team made). I told him it was a fun game to watch, and he did alright. I saw most all the ways he filled the stat sheet, but missed MrG blocking the shot of a big kid.  (Because, I was chatting with a parent from other team, and she is secretly paying her kid $1 per rebound. “It keeps him involved.”)

Game #3 – January 21st.  MrG had a quiet game. I dunno, he didn’t seem into it. I dunno. I think too much aboot these things. He had a sweet looking pass in the key to an open guy under the basket, but his teammate wasn’t ready. Later, he tried the play again, to the same teammate, and it worked. I told MrG – you guys figured it out, and learned something in the game, that’s cool. Note: I try not to talk too much about the game with him, just try to say, “I had fun watching you.” I did ask him, “I saw you give the guy you were guarding a bit of space, and he easily caught the pass, but was out of bounds. You do that on purpose? (“yes” he replied) You’re tricky.”


Game #4 – January 28th. In case you were curious, league rules include “no double team” and “no backcourt defense until fourth quarter”. His team started out strong, led 14-6 at the half…but it ended up going into OT. His coach called out “that was a good look” on a pass he made to a teammate under the basket. MrG picked up a foul – which, kinda I interpret as if you play intense D, you’ll commit a foul or two inadvertently. There was a bit of confusion on defensive assignments, and since you can’t double team, he was a bit frustrated. MrG got a steal, but it was waved off, because it happened in third quarter in backcourt. (I’m still counting it!) Three times he had poked the ball away from the kid his was guarding, that’s good, disrupt the offense. MrG’s first basket of the game was at the start of the OT period, (the crowd cheered) and they ended up winning by two! He grinned after the game, asking if I saw it. Yes, I did. I asked if he heard the crowd cheer, he smiled.

Game #5 – His team was playing catch up the entire game, and got close, but lost. He did have a nice pass in traffic, to a kid that was open in the key, but, wasn’t able to convert. He picked up another foul. He was upset that his coach didn’t put him in for the closing minutes of the game. I told him I think equal playing time is more important than the “W”, he replied, “that’s why I want to play select.”

Game #6 – February 11th. His teammates were passing to him more than usual today, (even got a quick bucket after a nice feed – getting his teammate an assist!). Actually the whole team was better at passing and sharing the ball today. He was point guard for a quarter, and was assigned to defend the other teams’ best player for a quarter. He was close to getting ten points, had an open shot, and passed to a teammate (yup, he thinks like a point guard)…who missed, but MrG grabbed the offense rebound and got quick put-back basket. Ten points!    (I noticed…there were times, when a boy would dribble into trouble, and he’s still looking to score, but he has an wide open teammate further from the basket, and then does a crazy pass, or tries to force a shot. Which is funny, because during warm-ups they yell “outlet” for the outlet pass, but during the game, not as much communicating.)

Game #7 – Feb 25th. Another fun game, the team is sharing the ball more. MrG blocked the last shot of the game.  

Game #8 – March 3rd. MrG was upset after, “my worst game ever” and just wanted to leave quickly. Yeah, he got robbed on a few of his shots that rolled off the rim. But his team was still passing to him, his coach still had him run point guard third quarter, he still played good defense. Little things he did that won’t show up in the stat sheet, MrG couldn’t grab a rebound, but was able to tip the ball to one of his teammates. A dribbler went by him, and MrG was able to knock the ball loose, so that the kid had to fall on it, and then got tied up for a jump ball. (And looking at the silly bracket of stats I’ve made…no, not his worst game of the season.)

Game #9 – March 11th.  MrG had a quick score off a pass early in the game. He had some nice hustle plays, hustled down a loose ball, ran back on D to slow down a fast break, caused a kid to lose the ball.

End of season…wait…what… playoffs!?! Darn. It. All.

Playoff game… I showed up for the second half… tie game… but the other team went on to win. MrG had a great 4th quarter… a few passes, four points off of four free throws, a rebound, two steals, chasing down a loose ball, a couple nice passes. He was upset at the end.  And now, the season is over.


Points Rebound Assist steals blocks pass Final score % of pts
Game #1 0 1 1 2 1 2 L


Game #2 8 4 1 2 2 5 L


Game #3 0 0 0 0 0 2 W


Game #4 2 1 0 1 0 3 W

16-14 (OT)

Game #5 2 3 0 1 0 3 L


Game #6 10 5 2 0 0 5 W


Game #7 6 5 0 0 1 3 W


Game #8 0 1 0 1 1 8 L


Game #9 4 2 1 2 0 8 W


AVE 3.6 2.4 0.6 1.0 .56 4.3 21% 28%

Pts + assists


Seattle Storm

4 June, 2016

last night, it took way too long for me to figure out the channel to tune into to watch some of the Seattle Storm game.

Anyway, Rookie (of the month of May!!) Breanna Stewart, and sophomore (2015 Rookie of Year) Jewell Loyd seem to be a decent pair to build a future team around. I hope Sue Bird (one of the best point guards of all time) finishes her career in Seattle, and gives wisdom to the youngsters.

So…if anyone is reading… Dear Seattle Storm home office… fill the stands. Let ticket sales be a loss-leader, bring ’em in with cheap seats. (And then they’ll get thirsty for a $6 soda, sigh.) Are all games on TV? I can’t tell. They should be, get the word out.

Catch a Star – Tamika Catchings

21 May, 2016

I’m glad I read Tamika Catchings’s story. Her dad, was a bit too much of trying to coach her, even after she had surpassed him in accomplishments in basketball. I hope that I don’t do that to my kids. Just be a supportive parent. Let their coaches coach. Luckily for me, my kids already know more about sports than I do.


basketball – MsSqueaky

3 March, 2016

I’m reading a report MsS recently wrote about herself: “I am good at basketball…I am really good at defending…basketball is my favorite sport.”  Awwwww…. me and my daughter share a favorite sport.

So, this Winter, MsS played through the YMCA, I did not coach. I thought for sure we would know someone on her team. Nope. After three seasons, a totally new bunch of girls. At the first practice, I sat, I watched…oh, my, this was not going to be good. MsS was the best on her team, by a lot. They did a game, everyone dribbling, you’re out when you lose control of your ball, or someone knocks your ball away. MsS won three times in a row, easily. Last year, she was about average on her team. This year, looks like she was gonna be the Captain. I told her that she was the veteran, and would need to be a good example to the other girls.

First game. A disaster. But, at least we played against someone that was on our team last year, so that was nice when she stole the ball from MsS.

Second and third games went poorly too.

But then, a few other parents started helping the girls, so they would have many stations at practice, which was cool. And a few veteran players that I recognized from last year joined the team. And they started to jell.

And MsS started getting assertive. She was going for rebounds. She started trying to steal the ball, sometimes getting it, sometimes getting a jump ball. A few weeks ago, in a game the girl assigned to guard her, did not know what to do. MsS would dribble past, get to her favorite spot, and make a basket. Four times in a row.





Basketball today

14 February, 2015

MrCuddles was having fun playing some basketball with me today. He was also dribbling along the side during his siblings games. Or coloring. Yay, not playing an electronic device! speaking of electronic devices…I was playing a football game with MrGrunty. He got upset when I did a silly play, instead of getting the touchdown at the end of the half. Later, played some chase game where get coins with MsSqueaky…they laughed at how terrible I am. MsS usually got 200 coins. I finally got 51 coins…they cheered for me. MrG game. I’m wondering if he likes basketball… He just doesn’t seem to have the hustle he did last year. But he’s very serious on the court, so hard to say. He did get coach yell out “good defense” to him. And he stole the ball and went down and got the basket. MsS told me she wants to be a basketball player and a soccer player when she grows up. She was playing a lot today, taking extra shots when ever there wasn’t a game. MsS game…we think it was the first team we played this season…the crushed us. They had two tall girls, they were stealing the ball, we just weren’t ready, didn’t know or trust each other…MsS freaked out. It was bad. Today, we did much better. We were aggressive on defense, in their face, making steals,…MsS tells me we won. Now if I may brag aboot my team… MsS…stole the ball, and dribbled down and got a basket. SH…basket, steal, offensive rebound and quick basket…someone’s head crashed into her cheek. She came out crying, but after a few seconds “I’m OK”. KH…smothering defense, going after the lose balls, I think a steal Q…basket, a rebound CD…couple of steals, couple of baskets…the girl guarding her was fearless, fast, and ripped the ball from CD’s hands a couple times! EK…we stuck her on one of the “giants”. She got a rebound, a steal…she always says, “is it over yet? When can we go home?” But I think she has fun. She got a ball to the face, and came out for a minute, worried aboot bleeding lips…I assured her she was fine. And she wanted back in.

AV and AR were out of town.

last weekend basketball

12 February, 2015

Friday night, we went as a family to watch UW Women’s basketball vs Oregon State. (Two friends from MsS team were there, too.) MrG watched the whole game, sitting next to his mommy…I did a bit of explore the bleachers with MrCuddles and MsSqueaky.

Saturday was MsSqueaky’s game. Her teacher from school showed up to watch, how cool is that! Also, very beginning of the game, MsS was running, the girl guarding her was chasing, MsS quickly stopped, and got slammed into by the other girl. She hit the floor pretty hard, the crowd gasped. And I went to gather her, held her for a few minutes, cheered her up, explained it was an accident, and soon she was ready to go back out on the floor. (Soccer benefit, the grass is much softer than hardwood floor.) And if I may brag about my daughter for a moment… She was standing on the right block, coach told her to move, she ran around a bit, got a pass from coaches daughter, dribbled back to right block, was open, and made the shot! (She had two baskets Saturday!)

Sunday, Papa & MsSqueaky time, we went to watch UW Women’s basketball vs Oregon. She watched some of the game, and cheered at the right time, or asked questions. But, we went to the snack bar a couple of times, and climbed to the highest seats and circled the arena.

If I haven’t mentioned it, I am lucky to be the Assistant-to-the-Coach for MsSqueaky’s basketball team. I am loving it.

When we show up for a game, I try to get the girls practicing shots. They kinda line up close to the free throw line, and chaotically take turns. I stand under the basket, saying encouragement “nice quick shot” or “you’re making me smile” and collect the rebound, either passing or tipping it left or right, barking out, “you go get that ball, that’s your ball”. If I see them carrying the ball I call out, “Dribble. Dribble all the time. I want you to dream about dribbling.”

At first, Coach’sDaughter (CD) was the star, I’ve known her for a few years, and she LOVES to play ball. She is fast on rebounds, loves to dribble around defenders, and will quickly steal any lazy pass. But by now, seems the team has gotten a lot better, and are trusting themselves, and each other. It’s great fun to watch from the sidelines.

Now if I may brag about our team

CD: still fast on rebounds, loves to dribble around defenders, but is learning to trust her teammates and has started collecting assists. (Often she’ll pass to MsSqueaky) Frustrates her dad when she takes long shots.
KH and SH… sisters, and they have started doing smothering defense. Srsly, they will get up very close and in the face of the girl they are guarding as soon as she stops dribbling. Coach taught that. SH had a buzzer beater to end the game last week.
EK… good all-around player, one of our taller girls. Probably our second best scorer, (and is more efficient than our best scorer.)
Q… a few games ago was upset that the girl kept stealing from her. Coach explained that you can do that now. And now, Q is on a mission. I would not be surprised someday if she earns ten steals.
MsS… is getting better emotionally. Last year, she didn’t care. This year they are “keeping score” and that bothered her. (Coach and I don’t keep track of the score.) But she’s calming down, worrying less aboot the height of the basket, dribbling with confidence and even switch hands on the dribble in response to a defender. Seems most games she hits at least one open shot. (I just wish she would rebound like she did last year. Last year she was sweeping the floor going for the loose ball.)
AV and AR… sisters. They may be put-off by my over the top acting. So I try to calm it down for them, but still give them high-fives and say I’m happy to see them when they arrive. AV is getting better on defense. AR has become a scoring threat if left open.

Wow, this has been fun! I am seriously considering continuing next season…but what if the chemistry is different? This team is awesome, maybe I should quit on a high-note.

Ways I need to improve… names… I still get AR and AR mixed up. KH and SH mixed up sometimes, too. Also… I need to get better at tailoring my play to their levels. I think I can do this decently one-on-one…but if there is a group, or I have to quickly switch to the next player during a drill, my default might be a bit too tough. (Another way to read this is I’m a horrible person, and I am too competitive against 8 year olds. I hope I just get caught up in the excitement…but there’s always the chance that I am in fact, a horrible person. God be with me.)