Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Center Jump

Until 1937, the game of basketball had an unusual rule. After each team scored, the ball was brought back to center court and re-jumped.

In today's fast paced game of basketball, this element of the game would seem rather boring... not back in the era of the Great Depression. Maybe it was the opportunity to relieve some of the frustrations of having to do farm chores or maybe it was the ref's just wanting to spice up the game but it became a favorite part of the game for the crowd.

It was the one time the ref's looked the other way after the ball was tossed in the air. Elbows flew, hand's checked, bodies bumped and more than one player would end up on their bottom. I envision a standing rugby scrum with the ball flying out of a group of bodies and heading down the court.

Bellfountain's tallest player was Richard Kessler at 6 foot nothing. Competing in the B League was one thing but many of the larger A League schools had athletes over 6 feet, a few at 6 foot 4 inches. Richard would have to learn a strategy to help him overcome this deficit.

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