- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Whether you are a grade-school or high-school fan, watching a basketball game can get exciting. Quite frankly, many times it can get mad, and you have to wonder what happened to good sportsmanship.
I’ve had the pleasure of attending and following some local high school games. The madness that happens at basketball games is not just in March.
Attending a rivalry game, I was walking out of the gym and heard a father tell a son who was playing ball, “The next time, I want you to break his leg.” Naturally, I was shocked a parent would show such disrespect for a fellow human and suggest one be harmed over a ball game.
Again, I was utterly shocked to hear a teacher at a school say when an opposing player fell and was hurt, “I hope he broke his ankle.”
Just last week, at a regional tournament game, a mother yelled out to her son on the floor, “Break his arm.” Another mother sitting with her screamed at an ear-piercing volume when the other team took a foul shot. I couldn’t believe they weren’t high-school age.
I assumed adults know better and children in school still had lessons to learn. But lessons are learned by example, and I started thinking if these are the examples parents are teaching, how will young adults learn right from wrong?
I understand parents and family members who have players on the floor are emotionally engaged and sometimes don’t stop to think about their actions. I know because I have a son who started sleeping with his basketball at age 3 and loves the game.
Every parent thinks their child is the best. Unfortunately, there are only five starters in a basketball game.
Once, a mother sat behind me cussing a coach because her son did not get to play as much as she hoped. When the son came to join her, she continued the rant to her son. After another game, a parent was so upset he said a petition should be drawn up to fire the coaches. And we wonder why students don’t show their teachers and coaches respect?
It also is unfortunate when parents only cheer on their son or daughter and not the rest of the team. Basketball is a team sport, right?
Wouldn’t it be nice if players and parents displayed as much good sportsmanship as they did talent? Isn’t that the example we would like our youth to learn by?
On a refreshing note, a senior-night game I attended last month was exciting. A huge supporter of the team was graduating and was allowed to practice at half time and go into the game to make a shot no one will forget. Congratulations to the opposing coach from Marion County who backed his players off to give this special young man a chance to have a memory of a lifetime.
Last week, a young man from an opposing team, who was one of his team’s star players, fouled out. I stood and clapped for him and yelled well done. He played hard and deserved to be applauded.
Another fan next to me asked, “What are you doing?”
“Being the change I want to see in the world,” I said.
For March Madness, let’s focus on sportsmanship and teach our young people the benefits of perseverance and a great attitude. We all have the ability to make a positive change for our youth and future.
Susan Rider is Speakers with Spark’s Lead Dynamo. She lives in LaRue County.