Friday, February 27, 2015

Harlem Crowns take on Pincher Creek for a hearty game of Clownball

Harlem Crowns, Dragons, Hawks, and officials
K. Jorgenson photo
Chris Davis

A crowd of close to 200 people were in attendance when the Harlem Crowns held court at Matthew Halton School on the evening of February 24, taking on the combined talents of Matthew Halton and St. Michael's schools' Senior boys and girls basketball players, in various combinations.  The Crowns are a perennial favourite, and once again they brought hijinx, laughter, and a healthy dose of basketball education with them.  Profits from the event went to the Grad Class of 2015.

Hawk Lachlan Terpstra tries to concentrate on his shot
K. Jorgenson photo

This was my fourth time seeing the Crowns, and some in the audience had seen them countless times before, and I confess that going in I was thinking I'd seen it all before.  However, the old gags still work their magic and the new gags seem to come from an inexhaustible well.  More important than anything else the Crowns bring joy with them, something the world and our little corner of it can always use more of.

Harlem Crown ringleader Herb Scaife and Dragon/Hawk Captain Jayden Kennedy
K. Jorgenson photo

The game itself was a bit of a muddle.  The Crowns have been on the road awhile, and apparently left the rulebook at home, unmemorized.  Get distracted by their antics and you're hooped.

Tristan Luther from W.A. Day School in Fort Macleod gets a lift
Kim Jorgenson photo

The Crowns played the Girls, then the Boys, and then a mixed team of both.  That was perhaps the biggest highlight of the event, watching these athletes playing together, particularly the boys/girls combination and the Senior Boys Hawks/Dragons combination.  The Senior Girls have had plenty of experience at unity after a season of playing together (referring to themselves the "Drawks"), but for the boys teams this was a rare chance to play together instead of against each other.

Dragon/Hawk Captain Kate Nicas couldn't wiggle out of trying the booster seat
C. Davis photo

Organizer Randy Whitehead (right) chastises refs Bryan Burns (left) and Mark Anderson Piitaawotaan for missing so many obvious fouls.
K. Jorgenson photo

Photos: T.Lucas, C. Davis, K Jorgenson

Some things we learned from watching the Crowns:
  • If you don't pull up your socks, someone else might pull them up for you.
  • Wedgies are fine if the ref isn't looking.
  • If you're having trouble hitting the net, grab an opponent, place in a handy spot to be used as a 'sight' to line up your shot.
  • If the ref is looking and makes a call you don't like, escort him from the premises.
  • Or untie his shoes.
  • Or rub his head for luck.
  • If you're down on the scoreboard, tell the opposition not to move because you 'want to try something'.
  • Dribbling is fine, but real pros wiggle.
  • Net too high? Grab a chair for an improved layup.
  • Net still to high?  Get  two or three buddies to lift you up.
  • When in doubt, you might as well jump.
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