Marilyn Hagerty: Hats off to 'Hoops'
There's nothing wrong with Wayne Nelson. He's sports editor and usually covers UND basketball for the Herald. He was just named a member of North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame. He's quite okay. A...
There's nothing wrong with Wayne Nelson.
He's sports editor and usually covers UND basketball for the Herald. He was just named a member of North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.
He's quite okay. A friend. He offers me a chance to cover games. I couldn't do that. I don't know beans about the rules.
'"Hoops," as I call him, dutifully reports on games. But there is more to be told. Behind the scenes we hear the referees for the recent Idaho game were bumped from three flights. Barely made it here for the Idaho game.
That's only part of the rest of the story.
Coach Brian Jones was wearing a blue shirt and a striped necktie. He's a tall drink of water. He never threw his clipboard on the floor.
Conner Avants got the first basket and got fouled. The crowd was vocal. Very vocal. Sitting beside me, Susie Shaft was saying, "These guys are going to be tough."
Babies, bitter cold
Several Hawks fans come in carrying beers. A couple of babies were with their parents. It was bitterly cold outside, but it was warm inside The Betty.
There's a timeout. Coach Jones talks earnestly to the team. They high five one another and go back out on the floor.
"You have to move. You can't stand there in one spot," shouts one of the fans. This is a heated match. We get a charging call.
It's halftime. You can find a hot dog for $5. Or a large bucket of popcorn for $6.50. Lots of butter, they say.
A taco in a bag runs $6.50. That's a great lunch or supper. Polish hot dogs are $6. Then there are sodas for $4.50 or $6. Seems pretty steep to me. But then I remember nickel candy bars.
The stands are fairly well-filled. There's no band during vacation time. But the cheerleaders were there toward the end of Christmas vacation. So was Bubba Schweigert. Lots of people wear green and hollering, "Shoot! Shoot!"
Our Coach Jones is not the cheerful person of the week. We lose the game. We zip up our jackets, tip our heads down and go out to our cold cars.
Fun never ends
The fun of basketball never ends. There are great high school games. There are the pros on television.
Women's hoops games at UND are a big draw.
We all marvel at the skill of Lexi Klabo. And watch with interest as Faith Dooley, the recent star of volleyball, shows up on the hoops team.
Always smiling and often coaching the referees, Coach Travis Brewster sometimes paces the sidelines. Sometimes he sits. Inside the arena on Saturday it was as hot as the South Sea Islands.
The loyal fans were there. Tom and Lynda Hartmann across the way have matching jackets. Ginny and Bob Eelkema and Rose Skyberg settle in. Trish and Jim Nostdahl find their seats. John and Kathy Fick rush in.
When the game ends, the best show begins. That's when the youngsters, sometimes including Pippi Kurtyka, line up to high five the team when they run off the floor. They seem to remember the post game greeting promoted by Quentin Hooker. He graduated last year as a favorite player.