On the lockout

An anecdote Ryen Rusillo may like.

I’m a full grown NBA fan. I’m a proud New Orleans transplant. Four months ago I found the closest public court to my place is a bike ride to a playground in Treme, not far from some projects. I’m not good at basketball, but I enjoy playing. I’ve been getting in games with kids, playing some 21, and an occasional half court game, often 1 on 1. I often spend time shooting around alone. I’ve never seen major pick-up games played, or other white guys on the court. Today when I was chilling on a bench letting some little kids play with my ball, some hipster looking white guys came and started shooting. I asked them if they wanted to get in a game. It turns out they were on vacation from Denmark, and had their converted bus parked at a nearby RV resort. As we were shooting for teams, some neighborhood guys were walking by and joined in. We had a diverse group of adults coming together to enjoy the great sport of basketball. People were playing hard and getting into it. The teams were competitive, and there were scrapes from the concrete. One guy hit four long jumpers down the stretch for the win. At the end we were all smiling and touched hands. It’s important to remember the benefits of sports beyond entertainment. There is a universality that lets you connect with people whom you may not connect with otherwise. Spectator sports serve a purpose. Today it is easy to be in touch with basketball fans all around the world, share ideas, and celebrate things in common. I enjoy going to the Arena to cheer on players wearing “New Orleans” across their chests. Watching athletes excel to so great a degree at something I do poorly for fun inspires me to get outside and put up some shots. My natural enjoyment of a little competition makes me enjoy following the ups and downs of teams populated by very motivated elite athletes. Millions of people from all around the world also enjoy basketball.

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