Trading brown bags for basketballs: Tournament to start at lunch

Jackson Marchal '21, Assistant Business Manager

Slam the lunch and come to the gym to swoosh up. Administration is planning on hosting a three-on-three basketball tournament during both lunches after a recent surge in students recessing in the girls gym according to Vice Principal, Joseph Spryszak. All they are waiting for is enough kids to sign up to begin.

The collaborative idea came from the mass amount of kids who hang out in the gym, according to Spryszak.

“We opened the gym up noticing that as it gets colder, it gets a little bit more crowded in the commons and in the cafeteria so we wanted to have this as another outlet for a place to go so folks can grab something real quick and then play,” Spryszak said. “I noticed that in first lunch we’ll have anywhere from 30 to 40 kids in there. That’s a lot. Ms. Paravano suggested that we do a tournament and she asked if I’d be willing to help out and I said of course.”

The tournament would be a great time to blow off some steam with friends during the school day Spryszak said.

“We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to have some recreation other than the gym class. We think it’s nice to be able to compete against your classmates and we just wanted to give you that chance,” Spryszak said.

According to Spryszak, creating the tournament would be best for kids who are not intense players.

“There’s a lot of kids who want to play basketball, but are maybe not at the skill level or have the opportunity to play for one of our teams. A lot of times, it’s not about the ability, it’s just opportunity,” Spryszak said. “A lot of kids do not want to play for one of our teams but they sure love to play recreational. A lot of kids in the area have neighborhood teams going on as well.”

According Brian Thompson ’21, he can easily relate to this as he hasn’t played on a team for years.

“I’m not a big basketball player, but going into the gym after lunch is just something fun to do before class. I have so much fun doing that that I think it would be really fun to play in the tournament,” Thompson said. “I used to play on a Neighborhood Club team when I was little in elementary school, but other than that, I literally have no experience.”

According to a recent post on Schoology, basketball players who play for South will not be allowed to participate in any game, and are limited to officiating or spectating for qualification reasons.

“We were concerned at one point if there was an eligibility issue if you’re competing outside of your team. You’re not allowed to be on an AAU team and a varsity team. Usually club level teams you’re not supposed to do both as well,” Spryszak said. “We just wanted to make sure that no one was going to get in trouble.”

Most importantly, high school players will not be able to play in avoidance of injuries, according to Spryszak.

“Our biggest concern was we didn’t want anybody getting hurt for the season which has just started. It’s something as easy as just twisting your ankle. We don’t want that to happen,” Spryszak said. “Not that it can’t happen on the varsity or JV court, but we just know that when you’re in a recreation league, there is a lot bigger tendency to step on someone’s foot and do something.”

Calvin Stricker ’20 agrees when it comes to eligibility of high school players in the tournament during lunch, but for different reasons.

“I respect the athletes very much, but I think it would be unfair if they joined and I don’t think it would be fun because they are so good,” Stricker said.

According to Spryszak, players will most likely not see him playing alongside the students.

“I’m thinking maybe when we do one at the end of the year. Overall, I don’t think I’ll be playing because someone needs to manage it. But, I have played ball in my life I was the point guard of my team and throughout my life I’ve been playing so I have better post up moves now than I did because I’m 6’2 and it’s pretty easy for me to do that.”