Sunday, June 26, 2005

Common Basketball Injuries

Common Basketball Injuries An inside look at the most common of basketball related injuries
By Pete Youngman
NUMEROUS PLAYER INJURIES occur as a result from the constant pounding and jarring night in and night out on the hardwood court. Studies done by my peers, other NBA athletic trainers, show that on average an NBA player runs four miles during a game which figures out to be 223 laps up and down the court. With this much time spent running, jumping, and side-stepping down the court, mishaps are destined to happen. Three of the most common injuries are ankle sprains, lower back strain, and patellar tendonitis.
Ankle injuries are among the most frequent suffered by NBA players and account for 25 percent of all athletic injuries. There are two types of ankle sprains. The most common involves injury to the lateral ligaments caused by supination and inversion of the foot and the latter involves the medial structures of the ankle. Inversion of the ankle usually occurs when a player comes down from jumping in the air onto another player's foot. Landing unevenly causes the foot to roll outward putting a great deal of stress on the anterior talofibular ligament.
Treating ankle sprains usually involves resting and taking pressure off the injured ligament, icing the ankle to relieve swelling, and elevating the leg above the heart. Trainers will usually tape the ankle to help prevent ankle sprains or the player will wear an ankle brace to help support the ligament. Isometric exercises and resistance training with rubber tubing are used to strengthen the ankle.
Lower back pain is also commonly suffered by basketball players. Among the general population 80 percent will sustain injury to the lower back at some time during their life. Running and jumping on the hardwood court produces much stress on the lower back even with well cushioned shoes. When a player comes down on the court from a jumpshot his knees and lower back or lumbar region absorb the shock. A majority of the players stand above six feet and may weigh between 200 and 300 pounds. This amount of weight may inflict a great deal of stress on the lower back. Lower back pain is usually caused by weakened abdominal muscles which assist the back muscles when lifting objects. If the abdominal muscles are weak and not conditioned, the lower back muscles will compensate for their weakness producing uncomfortable strain. Treatments for lower back strain include resting to alleviate the pressure on the lower lumbar region and heat compressions which loosen up the muscles and allow the back to heal. It is important that you always stretch your lower back after exercise. There are several abdominal and lower back workouts that can be done to help prevent back problems (please consult your physician for personal medical advice):
1. Lying on your back with your knees bent, bring your shoulders up off the ground using your upper abdominal muscles. Always make sure that your back is flat on the ground. Begin with 2 sets of 30 and work up to 3 sets of 30.
2. Again lying on your back with knees bent, extend both arms between your legs and lift your shoulders off the ground using your abdominals. Do the same but with your arms extended outside of your legs. Same repetitions as above.
3. Once again, lying on your back with knees bent extend one arm out to your side and lift your shoulders off the ground. And do the same for the opposite arm. Same repetitions as above.
4. Lying on you back lift your legs straight in the air and raise your buttocks off the ground using your lower abdominals. Pulsating 30 times.

1. Lie on your back and raise your pelvis towards the ceiling 30 times.
2. Lie on your stomach and bend your legs upward. Raise your knees off the ground using your lower back and gluteals. 2 sets of 30 repetitions.
3. Again lie on your stomach and raise your chest and torso off the ground using your lower back. 2 sets of 30 repetitions.

Patellar tendonitis is another frequent injury suffered by many basketball players. The patella (better known as the knee cap) lies in front of the hinge joint formed by the femur and tibia. The patella tendon connects the patella to the tibial tuberosity acting as a shock absorber. This tendon becomes inflamed when inflicted by the constant pressure of running and jumping. Kings forward Corliss Williamson suffers from patellar tendonitis. Corliss wears a thin band underneath his left knee called a "Cho-pat" which puts pressure on the tendon to deflect pain away from this joint. This band helps relieve the stress of jumping. Strength and conditioning coach Al Biancani works with Corliss to strengthen his quadriceps, which assist in supporting the knee. Stronger quads will relieve the strain on the patellar tendon and reduce the inflammation. Electrical stimulation and anti-inflammatories are alternative methods to relieve patellar tendonitis.

These basketball injuries are all preventable with strength training and conditioning. Reducing the chances of these injuries involves increasing the strength of supporting muscles, conditioning the entire body to avoid injuries due to exhaustion, and applying braces to weak regions to prevent further injuries.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Fun Summer Activities

Fun Summer Activities

Summer is here and school is out! Why not grab some friends and make the most of the season! Some of these activities require adult supervision. Ask your mom, dad, or other trusted adult to join the fun.

* go to the park and play some pick up ball
* go lift weights, and get big this summer
* go swim some laps while it's great offseason basketball training
(Dr. J's favorite thing to do in the offseason)
* go to open gym with your high school team
* go do some plyometric exercises
* shoot some hoops.
* dribble the basketball while running
* dribble the basketball while riding your bike
* ride a bike it a great offseason cross training
* take time to have fun, but stay out of trouble
* go to the gym and take serious game shots for 30 minutes
* go and try to dunk if you can not dunk then touch the rim or net
* do 100 push ups
* do 100 sit ups
* go do a jummping work out
* go read a book *it's the offseason, but the books are still important
* go take a nap
* go to a camp - basketball camp, church camp, work a camp, volunteer at a camp
* chart your workouts this summer
* learn more about your high school plays or defensive plays
* just hang out and play some ps2
* watch coach carter and really let it hit home
* work hard this offseason
* take a time out and relax
* go fishing, or the lake, or boating
* work hard oh did I already say that one...well I hope you get the picture!

Friday, June 17, 2005

8 Basketball Power-Dribbling Drills

Most children first learn to crawl, then walk, and finally to run. Basketball requires players to not only effectively move their feet, but also to maneuver a basketball. Basketball players first learn to dribble the basketball with one hand, then to alternate hands, and progressively to increase to more advanced dribbling. As a basketball player, a powerful and effective way to keep defenders on their toes and increase your threat as an offensive player is to develop an agile and quick dribbling technique. The power dribble can do this.

A basic power dribble is when you dribble the ball at a very intense rate. Maintain your normal form and posture. Use your muscles to thrust the ball forcefully down, and then expect the ball to quickly bounce back to your hand.

The drills described below will help you gain confidence and agility to handle a basketball in a power dribble. This will help you run a fast break, cut through the defensive, and outmaneuver your opponents.

1. Power crossovers - Power dribble in your right hand, then quickly bounce the ball to your left hand. Power dribble with your left for a few seconds before bouncing the ball back to your right hand.
2. Dribble blindfolded - Wrap a cloth around your head as a blindfold, or you could simply close your peeking. Power dribble a ball for at least 60 seconds. This drill helps you enhance your tactile sense of the ball. You can enhance the drill by performing it in the center of a deserted basketball court, walking around while dribbling. To make the drill even more challenging, try power dribbling two balls, one in each hand, while being blindfolded and slowly walking around a deserted basketball court.
3. 10-5 repeats - This drill exercises power dribbling with one hand at a time. Choose which hand your would like to practice. Power dribble for 10 seconds, then soft dribble for 5 seconds. Repeat multiple times. This exercise teaches your arm muscles how to alternate between various dribbling speeds that occur during game play.
4. Dribble between legs while walking - In order to do this drill you will need a segment of floor, such as a basketball court floor, a street's sidewalk, or a wide hallway that is deserted. Power dribble while walking up and down the walkway. Power dribble the ball between your legs to practice fancy dribbling skills. To enhance the drill, perform the drill at a quicker walking pace, maybe at a light jogging pace.
5. Double ball power dribbling - Power dribble two balls, one in each hand. This will increase your arm strength for dribbling and enhance your dribbling control. Since you can't look at both hands at the same time, this drill will also practice your ability to power dribble without looking at the ball.
6. Power dribbling sprints - This drill requires you to power dribble for an extended period of time and run back and forth on the basketball court. Stand at one end of a basketball court. Dribble to the nearest foul line, then return to the baseline. Dribble to the middle of the court, then return to the baseline from which you started. Dribble to the farthest foul line, then return to the baseline from which you started. Finally, dribble the entire length of the court, and return to the baseline from which you started. This entire continuous power dribbling exercise counts as one complete cycle of the drill. Repeat multiple times to practice your dribbling, speed, and direction-changing abilities.
7. 3-chair dribbling - Set up 3 chairs or cones in a line, spacing each chair/cone 10 feet apart. Power dribble around the chairs/cones in different shapes, such as figure-eights, circles, or any shape. Use your imagination.
8. Dirt dribbling - This drill actually requires you to leave the basketball court and find a patch of dirt. Power dribble on the dirt for a minute or two. You will need to power dribble the ball even harder than usual in order to get the ball to bounce on the dirt. This drill is an extremely good arm workout with power dribbling.

Start with just a few of these exercises, and then expand your workouts to include more drills. You can also modify the drills to be more challenging by increasing the number of repetitions or slightly modifying the drill. The key is to vary your routines and have fun with them. By practicing the power dribble, you will greatly improve your dribbling.

About the Author

Mark S. has been participating in club basketball teams for 8 years. He writes basketball articles for

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Phoenix Suns interesting story

Sex Segregated 'Zoo Crew' Entertainment Troupe at Issue in Litigation by Federal Agency

PHOENIX -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the resolution of a sex bias lawsuit against the Phoenix Suns Limited Partnership and Sports Magic Team, Inc. (SMT), an Orlando, Florida.-based sports entertainment firm, for over $100,000 and other relief on behalf of a former female employee, Kathryn Tomlinson, and other women who were discriminated against on the basis of gender when they were deprived of the opportunity to compete for positions with the Phoenix Suns' "Zoo Crew" entertainment troupe. The agreements are memorialized in two separate Consent Decrees, one for each Defendant, submitted to the United States District Court for Arizona for its approval.

The Zoo Crew provides entertainment during Phoenix Suns basketball games, including shooting T-shirts into the crowd with a giant toy bazooka, assisting with half-time promotions, and performing trampoline dunks with the Phoenix Suns gorilla, the team mascot. The troupe also participates in community events designed to promote the Suns.

According the EEOC, Charging Party Tomlinson performed well during her employment as a Zoo Crew member during the 1998-1999 season. The EEOC's suit, alleged that in 1999-2000, the Phoenix Suns and SMT adopted new sex-restrictive hiring policies for the Zoo Crew, limiting positions to "males with athletic ability and talent." This hiring policy was disseminated in the form job announcements posted around the Phoenix Metropolitan area and in a newspaper advertisement in several newspapers, including The Arizona Republic, Mesa Tribune, and The New Times.

Kathryn Tomlinson said, "I am disappointed that a well-known employer would engage in blatant discrimination. I know that standing up for myself and other women will make me a better person. I'd like to thank the EEOC."

EEOC Trial Attorney P. David Lopez stated that "under the terms of the Consent Decrees between the EEOC and the Suns and SMT, the Phoenix Suns will pay $82,500 to resolve claims brought on behalf of Kathryn Tomlinson and two other women and SMT will pay $22,000 to Kathryn Tomlinson and two other class members." He also said, "The Phoenix Suns also agreed to strengthen its policies prohibiting sex discrimination, to provide training to employees, supervisors, and management, to establish safeguards to ensure sex-restrictive advertisements are not disseminated in the future, and to send a letter of apology to Kathryn Tomlinson. The term of the Consent Decree with the Phoenix Suns is for three years."

"By entering into Consent Decrees, the Phoenix Suns and SMT have committed to equal employment opportunity. The Decrees should ensure that the Phoenix Suns will not disseminate gender-based advertisements which, on their face, deprive women of equal employment opportunity," said Charles Burtner, District Director of the Phoenix EEOC office.

Regional Attorney Mary Jo O'Neill remarked that, "The Commission is very pleased with the resolution of this case. Title VII prohibits sex-based recruitment and hiring practices unless the employer can demonstrate the sex restriction is a bona fide occupational qualification. The Commission will continue to combat antiquated sex restrictive policies that do not meet this requirement."

Gender-based job discrimination violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment or pregnancy) or national origin and protects employees who complain about such offenses from retaliation. In addition to enforcing Title VII, the EEOC enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which protects workers age 40 and older from discrimination based on age; the Equal Pay Act of 1963; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the federal sector; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Further information about the Commission is available on the agency's Web site at

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

NBA Basketball Players and Hoops4Africa Launch AIDS Campaign

Basketball stars to travel to Kenya to encourage healthy living

By Emily Harter
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- Hoops4Africa is sending professional basketball players to Kenya in 2005 to use the influence of American sports celebrities to deliver a vital message on AIDS prevention to African youth.

The Washington-based nongovernmental organization celebrated its partnership with professionals from the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and Land O'Lakes, an American dairy company, at a fund-raising reception October 28 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington.

"Play Safe, Live Long. Drink Milk, Live Strong" is the message 13 men and women basketball stars will promote during their trip to Kenya in September 2005. Currently there are 26.2 million people affected with HIV in Africa, and last year 2.3 million people died from the disease, 470,000 of them children.

Hoops4Africa is the creation of Stephan Bekale, an immigrant from Gabon who played college basketball in the United States. He formed the organization after he lost both his parents to AIDS, enlisting support from more than 200 NBA and WNBA players along with several businesses in the Washington area.

During the trip to Kenya, Hoops4Africa and the team of American basketball players will visit primary and secondary schools to educate adolescents because "the highest incidence of AIDS is between the ages of 15 and 26," according to Kristin Penn, director of the Land O'Lakes International Development Division.

Land O'Lakes, a leading U.S. food and agricultural cooperative, has been involved in economic development for more than 20 years. It currently has projects in nine African countries in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), including a project to improve the dairy industry in Kenya.

"Land O'Lakes wants to contribute to ending hunger and alleviating poverty in a way that we know best: working with the food industries in African countries and forming unique partnerships with organizations like Hoops4Africa," Penn said.

To help Hoops4Africa achieve its goal of reaching 2 million Africans about HIV prevention and nutrition, Penn said, Land O'Lakes will organize basketball games and exhibitions at schools, which will attract large audiences. Local Kenyan basketball players will also participate in the exhibition games.

According to Penn, the visits of the NBA players will be publicized on radio and television, at sporting events, and through personal appearances. Major U.S. media will also cover the 2005 Kenya trip and air it on such shows as "Larry King Live," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and MTV programs.

"Around the world, and particularly in Africa, NBA basketball players are held in high regard," said Gregory Shepard of HomeWorks Remodeling Assurance, another Hoops4Africa sponsor. "We know that we are on the right track and that our approach is sound. It will have a significant impact."

Shepard pointed to a similar project that was carried out in China. Chinese NBA star Yao Ming was joined by Hall of Fame basketball star Magic Johnson, who was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1991, to talk about AIDS prevention in a public service announcement on Chinese television.

Land O'Lakes and Hoops4Africa are thinking long-term about spreading their vital messages about health and nutrition. The five-day trip the NBA players make to Kenya will be just a start.

"We are very interested in getting corporate Kenya and their professional teams to pick up where we leave off," said Penn, "and to dedicate themselves to reaching as many schools as possible over the year to spread these messages in the classroom. We are the catalysts."

Hoops4Africa plans to expand the program to other African countries, Shepard added. "We think the program is very useful," he said. "We may actually incorporate other sports such as cricket and soccer."

"Hometown Hoops: High School Basketball in Michigan" Opens March 8 at the Michigan Historical Museum

"Hometown Hoops: High School Basketball in Michigan" Opens March 8 at the Michigan Historical Museum

As basketball teams and fans prepare for the excitement of March Madness, the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing is preparing for a little basketball excitement of its own.

On Saturday, March 8, the museum unveils Hometown Hoops: High School Basketball in Michigan, a special exhibit that looks at the people who make high school basketball happen and what the sport means to them and their communities.

Join mid-Michigan radio sports host Dave “Mad Dog” DeMarco of WQTX (92.7 The Ticket), from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the exhibit gallery, for his insight into Michigan’s high school basketball heritage.

Basketball has undergone an evolution since its introduction in Michigan in the late 19th century. What started as a “girls’ sport” became dominated by boys—and now the sport is played and enjoyed by boys and girls at every age level.

“Over the years, more and more people became involved in presenting the game of basketball,” said Phillip C. Kwiatkowski, director of the Michigan Historical Museum. “Not just players, parents and coaches, but fans, ticket-takers, janitors and others.”

Hometown Hoops captures the sights and sounds of high school basketball. Visitors even have the chance to shoot a hoop as they tour the gallery. More than 50 schools are represented in artifacts ranging from basketballs, uniforms and trophies to fan signs and mascots. Among the artifacts are championship trophies representing over 100 years of championship high school basketball.

At Hometown Hoops, visitors will discover the answers to:

· How have the game and the players changed since basketball came to Michigan?

· What do Earvin “Magic” Johnson and former Michigan governor William Milliken have in common?

· To what lengths do fans go in showing their team pride?

The permanent exhibits at the Michigan Historical Museum present an overview of the state’s past, from pre-recorded history through 1975. The museum is the flagship of a system that includes twelve historic sites and museums throughout the state.

The Michigan Historical Museum is located inside the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo St., two blocks west of the State Capitol in downtown Lansing. The main entrance and visitor parking are located north of Kalamazoo Street, just east of M. L. King Boulevard. Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed on official state holidays

The Michigan Historical Museum system is a division of the Michigan Historical Center, an agency of the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries, whose mission is to enrich the quality of life for Michigan residents by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan's heritage and fostering cultural creativity. The department also includes the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Film Office and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Basketball skills camp teaches fundamentals

Basketball skills camp teaches fundamentals

Phil Popielski's Basketball Skills camp begins its second session Monday and runs through June 28 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Meade Middle School. The camp is open to boys and girls ages 7 to 15.

Camp director Phil Popielski started the camp nine years ago when he was teaching at Meade Middle School. "It began as a way to get the middle school kids at Fort Meade interested in basketball," he said. Popielski currently teaches at MacArthur Middle School and is the assistant basketball coach at McDaniel College, formally known as Western Maryland College.

The camp focuses on fundamental offensive and defensive skills. Popielski believes that, "Fundamentals are a part of the game that you can improve on every day. If you develop your skills, you may be able to put yourself ahead of someone else.”

Popielski says the camp concentrates on a different skill everyday. Staff members work with campers on how to improve upon that skill in order to become better players.

"At the end of each session the kids receive a report card that tells them three or four things they will need to work on before the season starts," said Popielski.

Hundreds of youngsters have attended the camp over the past nine years and some of them still return each summer to help out with the program. Former camper Courtney Wylie is helping with the 5 and 6 year olds this year. She attended the camp two years prior to playing with her high school team. "It definitely helped me learn how to play the game," said the Meade Senior High School senior.

Jovar Joyce, also a senior at Meade, was in seventh grade the first time he attend the camp. "Mr. Popielski was my teacher and I heard a lot about the camp so I decided to give it a chance," he said. "It's a great camp, I really learned a lot and Mr. Popielski is so energetic. He really keeps you going," he added.

Guest speakers also visit the camp to encourage and inspire the young players. Most were enrolled as campers themselves at one time or another and are now playing for colleges such as the University of Maryland and Loyola.

The cost of the camp is $65 per one week session. Discounts are available for families who have more than one child attending camp, for those who want to attend multiple sessions and for those who register early. Each child receives a camp T-shirt.

Although basketball fundamentals are the camp's focus, sportsmanship and a positive attitude towards the game are also highlighted. "And above all," said Popielski, "we talk about grades. Getting good grades always comes before playing.”

In the end, however, this is still camp and the most important part of any camp, added Popielski, is to have fun.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Former U.S. College Basketball Stars Initiate "Cultural Envoy" Program

Program teaches foreign youth about American sportsmanship

By Phyllis McIntosh
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- Two former U.S. college basketball stars are using the universal language of sports to connect with young people around the world through the U.S. Department of State's new Cultural Envoys Program.

The six-month pilot program is an offshoot of the Department's extremely successful CultureConnect Program, which enlists world-renowned personalities in such fields as music, literature, film, dance, and architecture to interact with youthful audiences worldwide.

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Patricia S. Harrison explains, "the Cultural Envoys program draws on the energy, skills, and enthusiasm of lesser-known Americans to further connect with young people overseas, affirming aspects of American culture, such as teamwork, volunteerism, and working to achieve goals."

"Through sports, the envoys are able to connect with young people at a level where they all have something in common, and that helps open a dialogue," says program coordinator Nicole Deaner.

As its first envoys, the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) chose Omari Faulkner and Courtland Freeman, 2004 graduates of Georgetown University in Washington, where they played four years of inter-collegiate, division one NCAA basketball. Faulkner, from Memphis, Tennessee, received several scholar-athlete awards and has mentored young people as academic adviser and coach for various basketball camps. Freeman, a native of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, also was honored as a scholar athlete and was the first student in Georgetown history to serve three seasons as co-captain of the basketball team.

Having just completed a tour of Albania, Bosnia, Romania and Turkey, where they interacted with some 1,400 young people aged 12-25, Faulkner and Freeman departed August 21 for a three-week visit to Central and South America, with stops in Mexico, El Salvador, Bolivia and Brazil.

By the end of the 2004, they also will have traveled to South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Additional trips to South Asia and the Middle East will follow in January 2005. At each venue, the two conduct basketball clinics, attend student events and meet with sports and city officials.

"We are focusing not just on the large cities but on the smaller towns and cities that have had little or no contact with America or Americans," Deaner says. "The reception has been tremendous. The envoys were treated with warmth and enthusiasm everywhere they went."

In Gaziantep, Turkey, as many as 500 spectators crowded into clinics and demonstration games. At a Bucharest, Romania, clinic where 20 students were expected, Faulkner and Freeman were greeted by more than 100. The envoys quickly revised their plans and managed to accommodate 55 participants.

Although basketball is a thoroughly American game, "it is becoming a world sport," Freeman says. "There's a passion for basketball in every country we went to. The school might not necessarily have a team, but there are club teams. We also dealt with a lot of kids who don't play on a team but who love the game."

At clinics for boys and girls, "we teach them different drills, polish their fundamentals, show them trick shots, and let them play," Faulkner says. "Our overall goal is to let them have fun."

Behind the fun is a serious message that the teamwork and effort needed to succeed in basketball are important in society as well. "You have to be able to work with your teammate regardless of his personal background, to put aside your differences and come together," says Freeman.

"I tell them to work hard in anything they do," Faulkner adds. "It's a great opportunity to play a sport for your school or club, but I stress to them to put as much emphasis on schoolwork as on sports."

At age 22 and 23, Faulkner and Freeman are able to relate almost as peers to many of the older students they meet. "It's not just about basketball," Freeman says. "We talk about music, about what college is like. We tell them to feel free to ask us questions about anything they want. They're dealing with a lot of the same issues we deal with -- peer pressure and drugs and [the appeal of] criminal lifestyles. So we tell them to listen to their parents and teachers and coaches and stay away from that route."

As African-Americans, Faulkner and Freeman introduce young people in other countries to the diversity of U.S. society. "A lot of them think of an American as a white person with blond hair and blue eyes, so when they see African-Americans it gives them another impression of Americans," Faulkner says. "Many of them also have the view that the U.S. is perfect, and everything here is the best, the best basketball facilities, the best equipment. So, we let them know that in America we have our problems with discrimination and that there are kids in Memphis, Tennessee, who play basketball on dirt courts and kids in California who have to use a crate instead of a basket."

The envoys stress that "America is a very diverse country, but despite our different races, religions, and ethnicities, we still work together," Freeman notes. "We help them realize that Americans don't have everything handed to them. You have to pay your dues, work hard, study hard, do the right thing in order to succeed, and that holds true no matter what country you're in. [Their reaction] is like, wow, if they can do it, maybe I can do it as well."

Faulkner and Freeman agree that even this early in the project, the personal rewards of their work are countless. Faulkner says he is now seriously considering a career in government, perhaps in the area of international exchanges. Freeman adds that he has "grown a lot from going to different countries, learning about different cultures, seeing different struggles. I took a lot for granted, but I can't do that anymore, because my eyes have been opened."

Among their most memorable moments are the thanks they received everywhere they went, the sad faces as they were leaving a town, the cries of "I love you" and "PLEASE try to come again."

"You could tell it was a point in their lifetime that they would never forget, just to be around an American," Faulkner says. "Just knowing that we made footprints in their lives that they'll never forget is amazing."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

MRI Can Spot Foot Trouble in Basketball Players

MRI Can Spot Foot Trouble in Basketball Players
Scan identifies early threat of season-ending injuries

(HealthDayNews) -- Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for early detection of potential stress fractures in the feet may help reduce the risk of season-ending injuries for college basketball players, says a Duke University study.

Radiologist Dr. Nancy Major used MRI to check the feet of 26 male college basketball players. She found that MRI detected some form of abnormality -- including such things as soft tissue changes in joint areas and abnormalities of the metatarsals -- in the feet of 36.5 percent of the players.

Before the MRI test, only one of the players exhibited any symptoms of foot problems.

The results suggest this kind of screening should be included as a standard part of all physical examinations for male and female basketball players and other athletes who put considerable stress on the bones of their feet, Major said.

MRI screening wouldn't be necessary for people who play such sports on a casual or limited basis, she said.

"When diagnostic work is conducted pre-season, at-risk players are more likely to be identified, receive treatment and ultimately play the entire year instead of losing eight to 12 weeks on the bench," Major said in a prepared statement.

"By looking at athletes individually with MRI, physicians can evaluate, institute appropriate therapy and document potential problems for further evaluation," she said.

Major presented her findings Dec. 1 at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting in Chicago.

college basketball game: first college basketball game part 3

college basketball game: first college basketball game part 3
January 18, 1896
In 1963, college games were first broadcast on national TV, but it wasn't until the 1980s that sports fans ranked basketball up there with football and baseball. It's a popular neighborhood sport, too. The next time you shoot hoops with your family or friends, you can tell them how it all got started.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

college basketball game: first college basketball game part 2

college basketball game: first college basketball
January 18, 1896
In December 1891, Canadian-born James Naismith, a physical education teacher at the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) training school, took a soccer ball and a peach basket and in the gym invented basketball. In 1893, he replaced the peach basket with iron hoops and a hammock-style basket. Ten years later came the open-ended nets of today. Before that, you had to retrieve your ball from the basket every time you scored.

First College Basketball Game

January 18, 1896
When you are out on the court playing basketball, or watching it on TV, have you ever wondered who invented the game? The first ever college basketball game was played on this day, January 18, 1896, when the University of Iowa invited student athletes from the new University of Chicago for an experimental game. Final score: Chicago 15, Iowa 12, a bit different from the hundred-point scores of today.

Monday, June 06, 2005

basketball hoop

A Hoop. Basketball hoops are available in most gyms and in many parks. You can even buy a hoop and attach it to the side of your house or garage, if you have one. To create your own regulation court at your house, make sure you set your foul line 15 feet from the backboard. To see the dimensions of a regulation court,

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Prevention of Sports Injuries: basketball

Diana Settles, MAT, ATC
Manager, Injury Prevention Physical Fitness Programs
Navy Environmental Health Center, Portsmouth, VA
• Pace yourself; don’t do too much too soon when pre-conditioning for basketball season.
• A conditioning program with emphasis on aerobic and muscular fitness training should be
implemented prior to the beginning of basketball season.
• Begin gradually participating in activities specific to basketball, such as motor skill components of
fitness: jumping (rope skipping) and agility/coordination/balance drills. This mode of training will
strengthen the connective tissue (muscle, bones, ligaments, and tendons) which will assist the body in
accommodating to physical stress. These exercises will also assist with neuromuscular coordination,
the ability to integrate the senses – sight, sound, and proprioceptive (knowing the position of your body
in space) – with motor function to produce smooth, accurate, and skilled movement.
• Add ankle, shin (anterior tibialis), and soleus strengthening exercises to the basic lower extremity
muscular fitness exercise program.
• Participate daily in a complete body stretching program.
• Remember to warm-up and stretch at least 5 – 10 minutes before participating in a basketball activity.
• A continued maintenance program throughout the season would also help prevent injuries.
• Contact a local MWR Trainer for additional information on basketball conditioning. Many MWR
Facilities provide safety/injury prevention information to coaches, players, and officials regarding
preparation, conditioning, and training proper playing techniques.
• NOTE: Prior injury to the body predisposes one to re-injury of that particular extremity.
• Jewelry, i.e., rings, necklaces, etc. are not recommended during basketball activity participation.
• Clothing attire that contain pockets are not recommended due to the risk of fingers getting
caught/lodged in clothing.
• Protective eye goggles would help prevent ocular injury.
• Basketball playing shoes should be used. Shoes specific to other sports are not recommended.
• Basketball goal must be padded; allow space of at least 8-ft. clear area past goal. Ensure bumper
guards are installed correctly on glass boards.
• The style of play by a basketball team may increase risk of injury; the more contact involved, the
higher the incidence for injury.
• Trained coaching staff can impact positively upon basketball injury prevention. Coaches should be
able to provide safe information to players on the team regarding preparation, conditioning, and
training proper playing techniques.
• Officiated games decrease the risk of injury occurrence. Enforcement of rules assists in decreasing the
incidence of injury.
• Be aware of the environment around you. Prior to participating in basketball, look for predisposing
risk factors on the playing court such as foreign objects, towels, gym bags, water, etc.
• Alcohol consumption should be discouraged during any athletic participation.
• Proper hydration during activity is recommended.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

basketball history

Basketball History

• In the 1990s, the Chicago Bulls twice
won three consecutive NBA titles. On all
six occasions, Michael Jordan was named
Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals.

• In the 13 seasons from 1957 to 1969,
the Boston Celtics won 11 championships.

• In the 1980s, the Los Angeles Lakers
went to the NBA Finals eight times and
won five championships.

• When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired in
1989 at the age of 42, he was the NBA’s
all-time leader in scoring, blocked shots,
most valuable player awards, and appearances
in All-Star games. In college, playing
for UCLA and the legendary John
Wooden, Kareem played three years of
varsity basketball, leading the Bruins to
the national title each year and earning
the tournament’s most valuable player
award each year.

• In 1979, Magic Johnson and his
Michigan State Spartans defeated Larry
Bird and his Indiana State Sycamores for
the 1979 NCAA Championship. In 1984,
Bird avenged that loss when he led the
Boston Celtics to victory over Johnson’s
Lakers in the NBA Finals.

• Oscar “The Big O” Robertson averaged
30.8 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per
game, and 11.4 assists per game during
the 1961-62 season. To reach double figures
in three statistical categories is a
noteworthy accomplishment, and basketball
fans have a name for it – a triple-double.
Only “The Big O” was able to average
those kinds of numbers for an entire

• Wilt Chamberlain once scored 100
points in a game, and on another occasion
he snagged an astounding 55 rebounds.

• For his career, Bill Russell averaged 22.5
rebounds per game. In 1966-67, Bill
Russell was player-coach of the Boston
Celtics, making him the first black coach
in NBA history. Under his leadership–on
the court and off–the Celtics won the
NBA Finals in 1968 and 1969.

• Paul Arizin, at the age of 24 and nearing
his prime, left the NBA and joined the
Marine Corps before the 1952-53 season.
He served for two years during the
Korean War but still managed to maintain
his skills while in the military. In 1954,
Arizin made a triumphant return to the
league, playing for the Philadelphia
Warriors. Arizin became only the third
player to reach the 15,000-point plateau
and left the NBA, at age 34, having
amassed 16,266 points, 6,129 rebounds
and 1,665 assists in 713 games. In 1996,
he was named to the NBA’s 50th
Anniversary All-Time Team.

marines basketball

The roots of basketball go back to 1891, when Dr. James A. Naismith — a minister, doctor and educator— decided to invent a sport designed for off-season physical exercise. Basketball has since evolved from the 13 rules Naismith established to
high-dollar paydays for players that fly through the air with the “greatest of ease.” The Marine Corps boasts a few of those players on its teams. Basketball is another adrenaline-rush sport that Marines partake of in their off time. Marines give this sport 110 percent when they hit the court, not because they have to, but because that’s how you win the game, and Marines are all about winning.

basketball clinics

Two American basketball players are arriving in Tanzania on Saturday, May 14, to conduct basketball training clinics for Tanzanian basketball players, especially young athletes in secondary schools.

The two players, Courtland Freeman and Alvin Green, graduates from Georgetown University and Coastal Carolina University respectively, serve as Cultural Envoys in the U.S. Department of State's Culture Connect Programme. The Programme utilises the talents of young Americans to engage with other young people around the globe.

According to a press release from the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam, some of the schools that will participate in the basketball clinic include Jitegemee and Makongo secondary schools, the International School of Tanganyika, and the Don Bosco Youth Centre.

On Sunday afternoon the players will put on an exhibition game at the Don Bosco Centre with Savio - a local semi-pro team - that will preceed the final game of a youth tournament being organised by EMIMA, a non-profit organisation that uses sports to educate young people on HIV/AIDS.

Courtland Freeman graduated from Georgetown University on May 22, 2004, where he was a member of the Georgetown basketball team for five seasons. He was the team co-captain, the first person in Georgetown history to be captain for three seasons. In his final season, Courtland started every game averaging eight points and five rebounds.

Courtland's leadership skills were displayed on and off the court during his tenure at Georgetown. In 2004, he won the Raymond Medley model student athlete award as well as the captain's award. After the 2003 season, Courtland received the Mary Fenlon scholar athlete award, the captain's award, and was selected to the Big East Conference's all academic basketball team.

Alvin Green graduated from the Coastal Carolina University on May 7, 2005, where he was a member of the Coastal basketball team for five seasons on a full scholarship. He was nominated "MVP" of the team by his peers for the 2002-2003 seasons. From 2002 to 2005 season, Alvin was the team co-captain for three seasons.

While attending CCU, Alvin participated in Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) which helped implement new programmes for student athletes in the local community as well as learn how to become a better leader. He also coached and instructed various basketball camps at Coastal Carolina University.

Previous Cultural Envoy programs have taken the basketball players to South America, Europe, the Middle East, West Africa, North Africa, and the Far East. After their visit to Tanzania, the Cultural Envoys will continue on to Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa.

Friday, June 03, 2005

NBA supports youth basketball

NBA Supports Cape Flats Youth

At a Saturday morning event coordinated by the Public Affairs Section in Cape Town on March 20th, Consul General Moosa Valli presented basketballs and volleyballs to the Western Cape Basketball Association.

Attending the WCBA's regional tournament of under-18 basketball teams held at the University of Cape Town, the Consul General presented the balls on behalf of the National Basketball Association (NBA) to WCBA Development Officer, Randall Benjamin. The balls were donated through the efforts of former NBA star Bob Lanier, who conducted a youth basketball clinic at Mew Way Centre in Khayelitsha in late 2003. According to Mr. Benjamin, the balls will be used by its youth program in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town

Thursday, June 02, 2005

New Blog!

Welcome to Sacred Hoops new blog! We know it has been a really really really long time, and it has been done for while. Though we promise it will be back up and running now, and we hope to have it become one of the best basketball blogs out there...just like we are one of the top basketball sites on the internet today!!

Thanks and come and visit us again!!