Physical Education And Sport

Cinderella Ball: A Look Inside Small-College Basketball in by Bob Kuska

By Bob Kuska

For many of the 20th century, West Virginia was once a school basketball hotbed. Its significant courses have been successful, yet maybe even extra winning was once the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic convention, composed of fifteen colleges that not often earned headlines yet set many files and have become an identifiable a part of small city tradition and a resource of nation satisfaction. This ethos exists this present day in small city Kentucky and Indiana yet struggles to outlive in West Virginia. a part of the reason being the state's inhabitants decline because the Nineteen Fifties. That, writer Bob Kuska argues, in addition to the increase of cable and satelliteВ TV and the most important collage basketball empire, stole the thunder--and the crowds--from those small city communities.
And but, those groups play on in obscurity and nonetheless locate luck. opposed to the backdrop of West Virginia's nice small collage heritage, Kuska chronicles the day by day struggles and triumphs of 1 smooth institution, Alderson-Broaddus collage in Philippi, West Virginia. What occurred to that staff in the course of a rags-to-riches yearlong stretch would've been impressive at any point, not to mention at a college with very low athletic division budgets and occasional visibility that makes recruiting gifted gamers virtually impossible.
As he alternates among coaches and avid gamers, previous and current, Kuska contrasts the fan enthusiasm of the conference's early years with the apathy that plagues the groups of the twenty-first century. If activities enthusiasts can get earlier the media and the insanity that has made university basketball more and more just like specialist basketball in its self-indulgence and sensationalism, they're left with leagues just like the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference--scrappy, clever, and spirited--and nonetheless discovering how you can be triumphant and thrive.

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Additional info for Cinderella Ball: A Look Inside Small-College Basketball in West Virginia

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M. and drove his green Nissan Pathlnder forty-lve minutes south along the winding backcountry roads to the campus. When he pulled into the small parking lot outside Rex Pyles Memorial Arena, the college’s old-timey gymnasium with blue-and-yellow, festoon-style curtains covering the windows and a vaulted wooden ceiling that looks like the hull of an old Viking ship, Long and Markwood were waiting to introduce him to the players. Washington, a dark-complected African American who stands six-foot-four with a muscular build and a shaved head, eyed the team’s eleven players, eight whites and three blacks.

But, led by the plucky Wallace, a-b willed its way back into the contest in the second half, limiting the Lancers to 43 percent from the leld and narrowing the gap to single digits late in the game. Ironically, that’s when Zimmerman knew his team was in trouble. “With only two weeks to prepare, the players just didn’t know how to make each possession count down the stretch,” he said. “We didn’t have go-to plays and hadn’t worked on end-of-game situations. ” When the lnal buzzer sounded and Roberts Wesleyan had eked out an 85–79 victory, Zimmerman and Washington couldn’t help but smile.

Wesleyan hadn’t won a league title since 1985, and, according to Wesleyan’s veteran coach Charlie Miller, there was a good reason for the drought. In the fall of 1992, when he arrived at this small, private college in the quaint, virtually all-white central West Virginia city of Buckhannon, he had ten scholarships. Within a year the college had cut the full rides and converted them to ten tuition waivers, which meant recruits had to pick up the tab for room and board, about $6,000 per year. The next season Miller was down to six tuition waivers.

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