Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Guest Blog by Big A

A few days ago, Anderson Mill Baptist Church hosted its 3rd Annual 3-on-3 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Being a big fan of basketball, both playing and watching, I have entered a team all 3 years. The first 2 years my team, though competitive, never made it past the 2nd round.

This year I decided to field a team of guys that were new to AMBC, who had only been here for a few months. I have to admit that I am fairly competitive and that I find winning enjoyable, but more importantly, I thought this tournament could serve as a way to introduce my team to other guys from AMBC. With those noble intentions, little did I know that James, Matt, and myself were A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM!


- This tournament has only had 1 winner in its 2 year history. The 2-time defending champions had never even lost a game in the tournament and were back again for a 3rd year.

- There were several teams with players who played in higher levels beyond high school.

- Teams are encouraged to have 4 players on their roster in case of fatigue, injury, or a player fouling out. Our 4th guy backed out just days before the tournament and we were unable to secure another.

- Our team’s average age was 31 and our average height was probably 6’1”.


- We did the little things like rebounding, following shots, playing defense, setting screens, eliminating turnovers, etc. These things are also sometimes referred to as FUNDAMENTALS.

- We played to our strengths. I am not very good off the dribble anymore, but I can usually knock down shots in space. Matt and James were good at creating their own jump shots and also driving to the basket. Though we had never played together, we individually knew what we were capable of doing.

- We shared the ball (& the credit). While some teams were dominated by 1 or 2 guys, our team utilized the strengths and talents of all 3 players. On most possessions, the ball touched the hand of each player. This made the defense work harder, while creating better scoring opportunities for us.

- We kept our cool in tense situations. Most of our games were close, but we always played under control and with composure, while other teams sometimes cracked under the pressure.

- I knew my role. During our 1st game, it became obvious to me that James and Matt were better players than I was. I decided my role should be to set them up for success. On offense I set screens and rebounded to allow them more chances to score. On defense I worked extra hard to try and take pressure off them, while still rebounding to get the ball back in their hands. I would also score occasionally by cutting to the basket, putting back a rebound, or knocking down a shot while the defense focused on James or Matt.

- We played smart. I believe we averaged 2 or less turnovers per game, while having triple that number in assists. This kept the opposition from gaining more opportunities to score, while maximizing our opportunities. The reason for this success is that we “assisted” each other. If someone on our team was in trouble offensively or defensively, he quickly found someone there to pick up the slack. If someone was doing really well, the other 2 players stayed out of the way and let that player continue his success.

While sitting courtside at an Austin Toros game (our prize for winning the tournament), I began to wonder how in the world we were able to win. Of the 4 games we played, only 1 game saw us evenly matched. The teams we beat we taller by several inches, were bigger physically, had more speed, and had played competition that far exceeded what we brought to the court.

I was reminded of 1 Samuel 17 when David faced the giant Goliath in battle. While winning this tournament is not on the same scale as David slaying the Philistine, it does serve as a reminder that the improbable and sometimes what seems to be the impossible, should not keep you from giving your best effort to achieve your goal. Here is a clip from one of my favorite movies that helps tie this all together. Check it out.

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