NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 22, 2014

What fun we had playing basketball

Thank you, Robert “Boots” Chouinard, for your “Bring back old-time basketball” column. It brought back memories of one of the best periods of my life, the years 1950 to 1954.

October 1950 came and I and my two best high school friends made the Jayvee basketball team. What an experience for us. We had a wonderful basketball court, one of the best in the city of Worcester.

We traveled on Tuesday to play a game not in the city. Our lockers were old chicken coops. The court was the high school auditorium; it was so small, half-court for each team was three-quarter courts.

Another trip out of town brought us out to play on a court in a National Guard Armory. The baskets were so close to the armory walls that to take a ball out, you had to put one foot on the wall.

Another trip out of town took us to a court where one basket was up against the auditorium stage, the other basket led to the entrance of the court.

We played a city team where the way the court was laid out, one basket led to the locker rooms, the other basket led to the entrance to the court.

Half our season’s games were played on basketball courts like these and the baskets had chains, as the “net” was just coming and most of the backboards were wooden, as glass boards were just coming in.

I seem to recall we scored all of 18 points when we played our first game with glass backboards and we usually averaged around 60 points a game.

There was no 3-point basket in those days and looking back we would have been awesome. We had the original “gym rat” on our team; he could make two of three half-court shots; he could make nine, 10 in a row from the top of the key. Once at a Boy’s Club free throw contest he hit 58 of 60 shots.

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