June 23, 2011

NCP Footnote: Support the kids

Kevin McCarthy

Purity. Black and white. No asterisks. Many say that’s the tenor of life they wish to surround themselves with but, fortunately or unfortunately, the universe we reside in often operates in shades of gray. Such matters became apparent again with the recent clamor over the validity of Team 94 performing well in the Rose City Showcase in Portland.

photo of Team 94

Here’s the background: someone posted on a NorCalPreps.com message board that Team 94 beat a top national team and that was soon followed by a response indicating the other squad didn’t have its best players. Someone else added that the 94s were post grads for the most part and wins over younger players weren’t anything to post about. Others argued back.

Here’s the reality: Phil Handy’s squad is playing eight 2012 kids, one 2014 prospect and a trio of 2011 talents. About the latter, two are currently unsigned seniors (not exactly a padding of the roster) and the third didn’t play high school basketball this past season. Ringers? Hardly.

Also, what about the POSSIBILITY that certain talents on the various opposing teams MAY be recipients of some extra largesse considering some of the stories of late, thereby rendering their tournament participation questionable. No, there is no current evidence of such but it certainly and sadly isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Do the same naysayers also object to the Oakland Soldiers having recently enjoyed the talents of Arizonan Nick Johnson, Oregonian/Canadian Kyle Wiltjer plus kids out of San Diego and Los Angeles?

The overarching point being that winning games and showing well in prestigious tournaments represents the Bay Area and northern California well.

We both want and need this in order to deflate the mindset of some of the national basketball gurus who only think of southern California when the subject of Golden State basketball pops up.

So whether it’s Team 94, the Soldiers, Lakeshow, Play Hard Play Smart or others, it’s incumbent on us to wish the local and regional squads well and to get behind the efforts of the kids.

Support success -- it’s that simple.

Plus, be factual if you have concerns or complaints.

It’s critical to note that there is nothing wrong with having issues about this or that but it’s important to make sure -- as best as possible -- that references are valid ones.

Debate is good when it is informative and when what is going back and forth is accurate.

Much ado about nothing is a subject well covered long ago. Let’s leave it in the past.