Finding inspiration in basketball
by Brandpoint (ARA) Sponsored Content
Mar 10, 2013 | 18019 views | 0 0 comments | 248 248 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(BPT) - If you love March basketball, here’s how to use the time and energy you spent on choosing a winning bracket to live your own hoop dreams.

Step 1: Put down the remote.

If you enjoy the game enough to watch others play, it stands to reason that basketball will be an enjoyable way for you to get cardiovascular exercise.

Scott Cotterman, 32, from Eagan, Minn., never played high school or college basketball but has played recreationally as long as he can remember. He’s a big basketball fan, but rather than watch games at a sports bar, he’d prefer to play and devote his time organizing intramural leagues (he’s currently the general manager of his Ultimate Hoops team at Life Time Fitness). He strives to exercise every day. “I play ball about four or five days a week because I still love it and it’s a fantastic workout.”

Step 2: Pick up the basketball.

Despite what you might think about your athletic ability, if you’re willing to play, there’s a team out there for you.

Onaje “The Contest King” Walker, 32, from Montclair, N.J., said his only basketball experience as a child was shooting balled up socks through a wire hoop in his room. “I wasn’t interested in sports growing up,” he says. In middle school that changed when classmates picked him (last) to be on a recreational team.

“My plan was to stay away from the ball,” Walker recalls. That worked until he found himself wide open and a teammate passed him the ball. He made the shot. “I had an instant love for offense. Who would have known those hours of punishment in my room would pay off?”

Step 3: Get connected.

You might want to begin with those buddies in your pool, whose brackets have no hope anyway, to start a team.        

Chris Maher, 27, from Crystal, Minn., played pick-up basketball in college, which is where he met his best friend, Derek. “After Derek and I graduated we would go to Life Time Fitness to work out together,” Maher says. “Every Thursday night we would get kicked out of the gym because of Ultimate Hoops. After watching the league games a few weeks Derek and I wanted to give it a shot. After the first game we were hooked.”

Step 4: Become a basketball celebrity.

When you play in a league like Ultimate Hoops, you may not become a household name but you can become nationally known within the league.

Carlton Weatherby, 28, from St. Louis Park, Minn., played college basketball as a reserve point guard and team captain at Stanford University. “It’s pretty cool to be recognized as a top player, even after what I’d consider to be my glory years,” Weatherby says. “After a good game I'll send my stats to some of my old teammates who are still playing professionally and tell them ‘I still got it.’”

All Ultimate Hoops games are staffed with two referees and two stat keepers that update a national website with a detailed player roster. The site at www.uhlife.com provides weekly power rankings of teams, all-star voting, a “player performance value” based on professional basketball players salaries with comparable stats, and a playoff system modeled after the NCAA tournament.

Step 5: Don’t stop playing.

Half the battle of staying fit is finding activity you enjoy. If you have a love for the game, then make basketball your exercise.

“Generally I’m the oldest guy on the court,” says Mike “Hat” McCarthy, 39, from Atlanta. “I’m not as quick as I used to be. I just have to adjust my game to where I can make the team more effective.” That means he puts in time off the court working out at the gym and eating right.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.