Monday, March 10, 2008

Where I Was Saturday Afternoon

Saturday I was up in Austin cheering on the Ponder Lions to their second Texas 2A basketball state championship. I was there for the first one back in 2001, too.

I got into Ponder basketball years ago when I lived in Denton County. I was a youth leader to a couple guys on the basketball team. So I started going to games to support them. I loved the atmosphere of the games and of the school, and I soon became hooked.

I even played pick-up basketball with the players on some Sunday afternoons. I like to flatter myself that dealing with my relentless defense helped Calvin Redfearn become the player he is.

Even now, I’m much more interested in small town basketball than what goes on in the larger divisions. What is there not to love with teams named Arp or Jim Ned (Ponder’s two opponents in the state tournament this past weekend) and with the small towns that become nomadic following them once a year during the basketball playoffs?

Saturday was a little bittersweet though. I know fewer people than when I went to see Ponder compete for state two years ago. And reunions were a little more awkward. And the next time, I’ll surely know fewer people. But it was definitely fun to go see Ponder play one more time and win state.

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