Very, Very Serious Basketball!

Before going further with this story, I just want to let you know that many of my friends and neighbors went to the parochial high school (sometimes one kid in a family went to the public high school and another to the parochial one!).  So although some following details of this story may seem politically incorrect I assume you they are being recounted light-heartedly.

Back to the story.  The parochial school had only one sport it seriously competed in with other schools - - basketball.  It didn’t have a large student body and it didn’t have a big field for football, baseball or track.  It only needed 8 or 10 boys to form their basketball team and it had a small auditorium that it converted, with pull out stands, into a basketball court.

The games at the parochial high school were incredibly heated (and I don’t mean the inside temperature, which they may have turned up intentionally, but the heat generated by the 500 to 1,000 people crammed into only about 5 rows of stands on either side of the court).  To the parochial school, these games seemed like a Holy Crusade!  First off, they were very well prepared for battle and totally committed to victory.  The building was so tiny that the ends of the court barely fit.  The backboards hung from the walls and if an opposing player tried to drive to the basket he was not so gently directed face-first into the concrete!  Knowing this, the parochial school’s players didn’t have to be particularly big or fast, just good dribblers and outside shooters, which they definitely were!   Allegedly, they also knew exactly where they could (and could not) dribble the ball because the floor was made of linoleum tiles and they knew which ones were old and loose and caused the ball not to bounce correctly (which helped them steal the ball on defense!). Not only could they shoot but they practiced from various spots on the floor, and they reputedly marked those exact spots on the tiles!  They also had an ancient game clock with moving hands that seemed to always get stuck when they were behind or they needed a few more seconds at the end of a game!

But perhaps the scariest, most physical advantage the parochial school had was that the spectator seats were located inches away from the court and always occupied by their belligerent fans and mean school administrators and teachers (as the story goes, they enjoyed their reputation for being mean because bad kids who got kicked out of public school went to the parochial school to get some discipline!).   I remember the time a friend of mine, who played on our public high school team, launched himself out of bounds trying to gather a loose ball. He landed into the stands, falling between two rows of seats, at the feet of the home school’s teachers - - and they started kicking and punching him and wouldn’t let him get up and back into the game, until the referee came over to break it up!  That was some very, very serious March madness!

However, after all those warlike games, kids from both schools would meet up, make up and have fun at the local pizza “parlor” right across the street! All was forgotten and forgiven (til next year’s game)!

Please Keep This “On the QT” (Or Maybe Not!)

Just to let you in on a secret, my parents never, ever knew about all this March mischief, nor did most of the parents in town, who just dropped their kids at the Y or high school games.  (To my Mom and Dad, I was always the perfect, well-behaved, oldest son and honor student!)  So please don’t tell my 93 year-old Mom about all this now!

You probably shouldn’t share certain high school “moments” with your parents either.  But how about sharing them with your kids or grandkids?  (when they’re old enough to enjoy your stories but sensible enough not repeat your bad behavior!)  I’m definitely going to send a copy of this article to my children. This is the great personal stuff that never gets passed down in an estate plan!

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.