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280 Kane St. STE #2
South Williamsport, PA
United States

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March MADNESS in the 17728.

WHO NEEDS ONE? I heard my teammate’s cry but chose to ignore him. My legs feel like Jello, but I decide to press on without a breather. I dazzle the crowd with another no-look pass that ends up in the rafters. My fifth turnover of the night. Just awful. Throw in my three air balls

WHO NEEDS ONE? I heard my teammate’s cry but chose to ignore him. My legs feel like Jello, but I decide to press on without a breather. I dazzle the crowd with another no-look pass that ends up in the rafters. My fifth turnover of the night. Just awful. Throw in my three air balls and a phantom trip at half court- I am not only a liability to my squad but a four-eyed pear-shaped embarrassment to the community. It was one of those games folks.

We were down four, and I desperately needed to make something happen. I was struggling from the field, so I slipped the ball screen and went inside to challenge. The defense collapsed, and I spotted an open teammate in the nearby corner. I jumped in the air to make a pass. It was on target, but I took another step and then it happened.

I immediately fell to the ground in agonizing pain. My left calf was the size of a grapefruit and as hard as a RECYCLED ROX. Luckily, I didn’t feel a tear or hear anything pop, but I couldn’t get to my feet to walk it off. Down goes Spencer. Down goes Spencer. Code red. We’re hoping it’s just a cramp.

Every Thursday night, my friends and I gather in hopes of reliving the old hoop dreams of our childhood. We talk shop and shoot around for a few short minutes. Then we pick teams and begin our own version of MARCH MADNESS. I refer to this small organization as the Men’s Hoops League of Cogan Station. It’s invite only kids, and we ball at the 17728 Sports Dome Complex. Sorry, Paul. You are only 34 and way too good to play with us.

Our friendly pick up games go full court and are highly competitive. Either you win or lose, and no one ever goes home with a participation trophy. The majority of us are over the hill and are well beyond our primes. Some of us never peaked athletically, and that is why we continue to grind. It’s a really fun league, and no cameras or recording devices are allowed. We wear reversible jerseys and never play shirts and skins. Thank god. I hate to say it, but someone usually goes down with an injury each week.

We currently have 15 or so players on the active roster. The guys come in a variety of shapes and colors. Some wear ties, and others use their hands. A few sell insurance and one tosses pizza full time. Granite fabricators, elementary school teachers, and a Lexus, driving accountant. Construction workers, engineers, prison guards, a Little League official and even a Methodist minister. Yes. We all have to watch our language when Pastor Matt is in the building.

So it’s a very diverse yet interesting group. A true melting pot of our doomed society. A small collection from all walks of life. In fact- the only thing we have in common is our love FORE the game.

“Our pick up games provide an excellent workout and allows us old timers to harness those distant memories,” Founder and
League President Chris Helmrich explains. “One outside jumper or a great pass is all it takes. Then you’re back to the playground or your high school gym. Basketball is considered a team sport, but you can still make a significant impact as an individual regardless of age. It’s the only game we play to stay young and keep our competitive juices flowing.”

I often question why I continue to play after each session. I usually have a hard time climbing stairs the following morning. I’m perfectly fine with all of the running. It’s the starting and stopping that gets me in trouble. Then there’s the jumping and lateral movements. Man, I haven’t used these muscles in twenty years.

I totally agree with Chris in that our games help keep us young. I buried a deep three a few weeks back, and I had an extra bounce in my limp for the next few days. It’s difficult to explain that temporary feeling of euphoria. But every time I make a good play or score a basket- it definitely takes me back to my old playing days. Is this heaven? No, it’s Cogan Station. #fieldofdreams. #gothedistance.

I look forward to balling with my friends every Thursday, but I chose to sit this one out because of my injury. The swelling has subsided, but my calf still hurts when I am fishing. I was placed on the 15 day DL and will remain a game-time decision. I should take it easy and rest, but my teammates need me. One shining moment. Cheers.

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