Cool out, teachers

Published 10:16 pm Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I’m assuming staff members of Lakeland, King’s Fork and Nansemond River high schools didn’t get the memo about last week’s Faculty Basketball Game.

The NBA is not coming to draft you.

Seriously. They’re busy, what with the NCAA tournament right now and actual professional athletes to deal with.

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Yet walking into the Faculty Basketball Game at Lakeland last week, you wouldn’t have known that these teachers were not, in fact, waiting for David Stern to burst into the gym and start handing out contracts.

The whole idea of the game was terrific – and being a former basketball player, one I was excited to see. The schools’ Parent Teacher Student Associations held a fundraiser by hosting an interdivision faculty game, each school playing the other.

Love it.

But the games did not live up to my hype.

First of all — not to get all Title IX on you — but it was all dudes. Yes, there was the token woman on each bench who got to check in at the last minute of the game as an almost comical farce to the actual game. But, outside of that, it was just guys.

Secondly, these guys were all big-time players with big-time competitive natures. Elbows were thrown, hard fouls were doled out and trash talking was bantered about on the floor. Is that really the example you want to set for high school students? Hey, kids! Sportsmanship doesn’t matter when you can clock someone in the face and get the three-point play.

All for what? A bragging right that your high school beat another high school in a charity game that didn’t have trained referees, score keepers or even regulation rules? Dream big.

After about ten minutes, it was too annoying to keep watching the game.

I had more fun watching the “Cavalettes,” a group of women from Lakeland who came to cheer. They, at least, had the right attitude.

Here’s the thing: the schools should absolutely keep the games going. Make them an annual event. Get some great morale going behind them, but don’t get people who take it seriously.

You need to have staff members who can have fun and have fun at their own expense – get the 5’2” geometry teacher to dress out next to the klutz of a Spanish teacher. And, yes, get some ladies to play out there, too. Then add a couple of people who can actually play, and you have yourselves a good game that will be worth sitting through.