November 8th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Last weekend I didn’t have a game so I volunteered to help work the Galway Masters Tournament at NUIG. The Masters tournament for those of you who don’t know is the basketball league of men and women from the ages of forty years old and up. I helped out by working the scoreboard and clock all weekend and was surprised by how much fun I had at this tournament.
This year at the Masters tournament they had a great team visiting from Spain, who were competing that was headlining the event. I was really excited to see my current Mystics coach play and also the parents who’s kids I coach play too. Some of these players can still ball! They still had the moves and finesse that I’m sure they’ve been perfecting for years. But the most impressive part of watching these games, were not the moves, not the ages, physically ability, or the uniforms, but it was the passion that every single person on that court had for this game. It was so amazing for me to see that there were teams of women that could have been close to sixty years old and they were still yelling at each other and screaming at the refs because they still had such passion for this sport. This was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had here. To be able to see the older masters play and their kids watching them, and then have myself watching my own coach, was like seeing everything come full circle. Everyone in that gym was essentially bonded together for the same reason.
On my coach Mike Murray’s team I recognized one of his teammates from somewhere and I couldn’t remember exactly where. I turned to my teammate who was keeping the scoresheet and I said, “I’m pretty sure this guy is famous, I’ve seen him before but I can’t remember his name!” After seeing this player score (not to mention tower over the rest of the players) it finally clicked. The night Chris and I first moved into our apartment we turned on our TV and both got immediately sucked into watching this great basketball documentary called The Golden Age of Irish Basketball. This documentary depicts a time in the 1980’s when basketball just started to become popular in Ireland with the help from influential players from America. The film focuses primarily on the African American stand out players as they describe their experiences entering the Irish basketball world for the first time. After the game I spoke to my coach and realized his teammate was the legendary Deora Marsh.
Between having a Irish basketball legend who I saw on TV playing on my home court, witnessing the generations of basketball families in attendance, and having teams of all ages from different countries come to Galway all for one reason was truly amazing. Even though this is my last year playing basketball at a national league level, I know that the passion I have for this game is far from over.