Happy New Year! 4LMag September 12, 2015 Fast Break, Featured Headlines Jason Stewart can be reached through his website at www.ProUniversity.net or by email at Coach@ProUniversity.net 2015 Basketball Season By Jason Stewart You may think that I’m confused, but I’m not. Every fall season my “Life” starts. October marks the official start of basketball season. First starts the National Basketball Association, followed by high school and college in November. Every year in August when school starts my eyes begin to dilate and dance knowing that I’m only days away from my annual adrenaline rush! Sure, there is spring and summer season, but those are just minor fixes to a major basketball junky. It’s around this time of year that my basketball jones goes into full effect. The Preseason The fall preseason is when all basketball players around the country debut the improvements to their games, similar to the debut of the new Apple iPhone! The audience expects something new and the players love to deliver, receiving the oohs and ahhs of the crowds with smiles filled with pride from ear to ear. Coaches gather round and take full stock of the returning and new players that are applying for the job of winning the season and hopefully hoisting a trophy at year’s end. Head coaches along with their staffs begin to ponder regular season roster possibilities that might produce playoff births leading to gold rings that leave legacies establishing their presence like a name engraved in an eternal stone. We all dare to dream. The Season When the regular season starts, the countdown to greatness begins. No team is ever the same from year to year. One change on the roster affects the dynamic of the unit. New lessons will be learned and old lessons will be heard as if for the first time in the ears of those now reaching a certain stage of maturity. Every practice and game matter. The most efficient and committed effort produces the lessons that will carry the team and the coach into the winner’s circle. The Playoffs Enter the post season: We call this the playoffs. The playoffs are an extension of life to a basketball team. The relief of knowing that you’ve made the playoffs smells like the ocean breeze. The playoffs feel. They feel like an electric current running through your sweating body. No matter how much you apply, your deodorant will fail you. As the gym begins to fill with spectating fans, students and supporting families, the levels of anticipation begin to manifest in chants from the crowd in favor of their team and often in opposition of the opponent’s team. Everyone knows that each possession impacts the outcome of the game, which could send a team to the locker room with sorrowful tears or cause to dance in celebration. Everything is magnified. The deeper you go into the playoffs, the more focused you become. The magic happens when all players mature at once, like opening the perfect bottle of wine at the right time. The energy of the team pours out on the court, overcoming opposition like a tidal wave. Every coach dreams of his or her team riding a wave like this in hopes that it will take them to the enshrined shores of ultimate victory. Even if you never reach the glorious coastline of champions, the love of the pursuit never dies for the competitor who enjoys the thrill of the chase. It is the same for those whose names have been etched in the great wall of history; they too have become addicted to the pursuit. When the season is done, win or lose, players, coaches and fans wake up one morning and realize there is new life coming soon. This ritual takes place every year. You may call it another sports season, we call it “Life.” Get Ready! Buckle up and get ready for another adrenaline filled roller-coaster ride in this 2015-2016 episode. New stars will rise and returning players will try to re-establish their shining moments. Time will tell who will fade into the darkness and who will be elevated on stage under the lights. It’s game time!