Rec league wrecks havoc

Starting this year, Homewood Flossmoor Park District opened up their winter basketball league to all high school boys.
Originally only available for grade-schoolers, a high school league has allowed for the involvement of many boys with “hoop dreams.”

“It’s funny because some people take (the games) seriously,” senior Travis Braxton said. “It’s arguably more entertaining than the boys (varsity) games.”

The attendance of Boys’ Basketball games on Friday nights is almost incomparable to the crammed bleachers and emotional involvement of the crowd at the H-F Sports Complex on Saturday afternoons.

“There’s probably more people there, and everyone’s really into it,” senior Justin Wilkerson said. “It can be a hostile environment at times.”

For the most part, the hostile comments are left up to the spectators as they should be. To make sure everyone plays nice, a subbing system and referees are provided to provide fair play.

“I like reffing,” Bolingbrook senior and former H-F student Josh Brown said. “I like giving back to the people who helped shape me to be the person I am today.”

While the refs enjoy their role, not many players are fond of the substitution guidelines.

“The subbing system sucks, but it is necessary in order for the league to serve its purpose,” senior Steve Wright said.

The purpose of the HFPD league is providing a fun environment for kids to find some friendly competition in.

“Ball is my life,” senior Terrence Tabb said. “I love playing my favorite sport with all of my buddies.”

Like with all positive things, some negativity has risen with the new, community basketball league.

Two twitter pages have been anonymously created to update tournament standings. Recently the pages have also been naming candidates to win titles such as MVP, best defensive player, best role player, coach of the year and funniest player to watch.

The accounts, created by anonymous spectators, have also taken to criticizing players and referees.

“It’s funny and interesting,” Wilkerson said. “But they tried to take a couple shots at me, so it’s motivating, to say the least.”

Looking beyond the rude remarks and competition tensions, the memories created are the most significant component of the HFPD high school league.

“The whole league has been memorable,” Wright said. “Playing with all these guys that grown up with has been something that I will remember for a long time.”