How to Stay Cool on the Court

Ryan-C-Heffernan-Cool-On-The-Court

Summer is right around the corner and the temperatures are slowly rising. This time of year poses heat on the court, especially for pickup games on the court. When playing basketball you and your friends will need to make sure you’re staying cool in the heat while you’re outside on the basketball court. As you and your buddies plan, or even spontaneously, partake in pickup games, here’s how you can beat the heat on the court all summer long.

Hydrate

Your body loses a large portion of water and sodium on hot summer days. Sweat is a natural bodily function that occurs when you play in a pickup game. Because of this, your body needs to hydrate and rehydrate. As an athlete, personally or professionally, you need to ensure you’re staying hydrated. Drink water before, during and after any game you play.

Footwear

Hard courts, especially asphalt, retain heat and release it through your shoes and into your feet. This can cause your body temperature to be higher than necessary. You want the best basketball kicks for outdoors. Be sure you have good traction, durability and most importantly make sure they’re affordable. Having the right type of footwear for the summer can help you stay cool on the court.

Clothing

You definitely don’t need a sweatshirt for the court in the summer. Make sure you’re wearing appropriate apparel for the temperature as you play. Try to find activewear that’s lightweight and is made from fabric that dries fast to reduce the amount of sweat. Stretchy or loose material are also good as you’re active on the court. Wearing the right clothing can help reduce the heat.

Shade

Although most courts aren’t covered by shade, look around for a place to get out of the sun that’s near your court. If there’s a tree nearby, stand in the shade for a few minutes whenever you’re not playing the game. Give your body a break from the sun whenever you get the chance.

Break

Don’t forget to break between each quarter of the game. Use this time to relax and allow your body to rest. Drink water and go to the shaded area if it exists. A break will give your body the time to get ready for the next quarter, as you allow for a cool-down time.

Summer can be a fun time with a few friends and pickup games. Beat the heat this summer as you play hoops!

An Overview of Basketball History

 

Ryan C Heffernan: Life Lessons from Basketball

Did you know that the very first type of basketball hoop was repurposed peach baskets? In 1892, that’s how basketball got its named. In Springfield, Massachusetts, a Canadian Doctor by the name of James Naismith instructed the first official game of basketball. Naismith wrote the original rules of Basketball, with 9 of them still implemented today with slight moderation. The final score of the very first basketball game was 1-0, and only played for 30 minutes as the players didn’t quite grasp the concept. The first person to ever score in Basketball was William R. Chase. Because Naismith didn’t have money to invent a new ball, the teams played with a soccer ball and Chase managed to shoot in the peach basket and score. By 1983, new basketball hoops were created out of iron basket and chain.

 

This new sport spread in popularity through YMCA’s in northeastern states as well as southern Canada. However, due to the roughness of this game, some YMCAs and other facilities banned the game. Originally, a similar game to basketball was played with a rubber ball in mesoamerica. However, much more gruesome, the game was played with the loose team being decapitated by their winning foes. Because of the popularity of the basketball game we know and love today, other facilities picked up the game and that’s how competitive basketball became a sport.

 

Local leagues started to form among large east coast cities such as New York, Philadelphia and Boston. Just four years after the very first basketball game was played, professional basketball as we know it came into the picture. In Trenton, New Jersey two teams formed at the Trenton Masonic temple. Chicken wire was used around the iron, creating cuts and scrapes during this game which embarked the hoop as we know made out of net and still used today.

 

In 1898, six teams formed the very first National Basketball League (NBL) between New Jersey and Philadelphia. During this time, players were paid $12 per game as they traveled around the country playing with local teams. Colleges joined in forming the collegiate sport of college basketball, with Yale winning the first ever national college league championship going 10-4.

 

The early 1900’s established a firm foundation of the sport. The first ever African American, Harry “Buck” Lew joined a professional team in 1902. The original formation of contracts came from the Celtics, then known as the New York Celtics who discontinued the allowance of players to switch teams depending on what team paid players more.

 

After the 1929 stock market crash, teams began to disintegrate due to low attendance and funding. As the economy grew, the game of Basketball did too. Towards the end of the 30s and early 40s, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) grew into two of America’s most followed Basketball competitions.
The first NBA game was played between Toronto and New York on November 1, 1947. Following the rapid growth from the NBA, Basketball made its way through the years to its current state. With salaries rising, rules and regulations adapting and the way of the game evolving into how it’s played today, basketball is now a professional competitive sport followed by Americans all over the nation.

March Madness 2017: A Look Back

Following a dramatic ending to the 2016 tournament with Villanova taking down North Carolina on a buzzer-beating three-pointer, expectations for this year’s NCAA March Madness were high. To say the 2017 tournament was exciting would be an understatement.

 

Villanova was poised to be another strong contender following their remarkable championship win last season, and for those who filled out brackets beforehand, many had the Wildcats doing the same this year. Unsurprisingly, another favorite to win it all was North Carolina, along with Duke following close behind, as well as Gonzaga, Kansas, and UCLA. Respectively, all of these teams did extremely well as expected. However, that is not to say that 2017 was void of upsets.

 

The first round of the tournament was full of little surprises. Almost every top-seeded team won with ease in the first weekend, and those anticipated to fall did just that. However, the next round was an entirely different story. After Villanova defeated Mount St. Mary’s in their first tournament win, they moved on to no. 8 seed Wisconsin. Seeing as the Wildcats were a no. 1 seed, very few could have correctly picked the outcome of this game. Wisconsin would hold off Villanova’s explosive offense on their way to a 65-62 victory, effectively dismantling most of the country’s March Madness brackets.

 

The upsets did not end there. No. 2 seed Duke, another favorite to claim the NCAA title, would be stopped in their tracks by an impressively formidable South Carolina team, whose reign would not end there. The Gamecocks moved onto the next round to face Baylor; the Bears were seeded at no. 3, and were considered favorites in the matchup. South Carolina won by 20 points, moving on again to face an intimidating Florida team, who they also defeated until finally falling to no. 1 Gonzaga. Their extraordinary win streak was something that was certainly unexpected by many.

 

Another underdog to defy the odds was Xavier, who won their first three games of the tournament against Maryland, Florida State, and Arizona who were all considered serious contenders. However, like many, they too were stopped by Gonzaga’s strong offense and defense. With all of their wins, the Bulldogs would unsurprisingly make it to the championship game, where they met North Carolina; two no. 1 seeds who were contenders from the start.

 

The title game was very evenly matched throughout, with both teams shooting around a 34% field goal average. What seemed to plague Gonzaga however, was turnovers. The Bulldogs would turn the ball over 14 times total in the game, and the Tar Heels would take advantage. Joel Berry II would lead his North Carolina team in points with 22, making all four of the team’s only three-pointers. His efforts and that of his teammates would secure the 71-65 victory, redeeming themselves from the heartbreaking loss against Villanova just a year ago.

 

The 2017 NCAA Basketball tournament was nothing short of a drama-filled, sensational showcase of talent. Though many fans’ brackets were deemed incorrect very early on, there’s no denying that the excitement that came with every upset, win or loss, this year’s March Madness surely delivered.

A Crash Course in Defensive Strategy in Basketball

basketball- defense

There are two different types of common defenses in basketball. The types of defenses are person-to-person and zone. There are a number of different ways to execute each defense. Most coaches instruct their team to use the person-to-person defense because it is usually more efficient. When a team uses both methods they are normally ready to guard against any other type of defense.

 

Person to Person

In the original method of person-to-person, the coach gives each player a specific person to defend. If you are using the full court method of person-to-person, you will start to defend you assigned player when the other team is in possession of the ball. If you are playing a half-court game, you will go to the defensive side of the court and defend your man as soon as he is across the center line.

 

Variation of the Person to Person

There are two different variations of this method. The first variation includes switching person-to-person. When someone on the offense sets a screen on you, you switch people and pick up whoever has just set the screen. This is done while the person who was guarding that person starts to pick up the person you had. When you switch screens it is more advanced than basic person-to-person guarding. This is normally used when the offense using the pick-and-roll as their main offensive tactic. Sagging person-to-person is the second variation. This can be used when some of the players on the offense are not great shooters from the outside.

 

Zone Defense

If your team is using zone defense, you will guard a certain area instead of a man. If someone from the offense comes into your zone, it is your job to guard that person. If he leaves your zone, the person who is in that zone then becomes responsible for them. Zone defenses are typically used when the opposite team does not have good shooting from the outside area.

 

Variations of Zone Defense

There are many different variations of the zone defense method. The classic zone defense variations is a 2-1-2. When this method is used there are two defenders that are responsible for the outside area, as well as one defender who is placed in the middle part of the court, near the foul line. There are also two defenders placed on the inside. A 2-3 zone defense has three defenders on the back line and is great for rebounding. A 1-2-2 zone allows the team to put more pressure on the offense. The zone defense can either be passive or active, depending on how the coach and the team execute the defense. There are many different types of half-court and full-court zone formations that can be used to trap opponents into doing turnovers.

 

Etiquette to Make You Popular for Pick Up Games

 

Pick Up EtiquetteBasketball is a great way to make some new friends, relieve stress and get a great workout. We all come out to have a good time and play some ball. However, there’s nothing worse than a fight breaking out over self-esteem tensions amongst each other. Many guys don’t realize that there is proper etiquette to the game, simply for the fact that everyone gets along and has a good time. If you’re new to the weekly pickup games, be sure you apply your etiquette skills for a great game.

 

Don’t rep your favorite jersey

One of the first rules in the pick up game is to wear your typical workout clothes, not a brand new jersey and Jordan’s. The fact of the matter is that we all love basketball, but repping your matching basketball outfit won’t make you a better basketball player. The matching jersey and sneaks will just catch everyone off guard and make a scene. It also won’t be the most comfortable thing in the world, causing the game to be distracted (which could easily be avoided).  Instead, just wear your normal gym clothes and comfortable basketball sneakers so players can focus on one thing: the court. Again, this isn’t a fashion show, it’s a basketball game. There’s no point in showing off your closet; we’re all fans.

 

Don’t trash talk

Trash talking on the courts is a no go, especially if you’re new to the game. Look, we’re all just trying to play some basketball, so coming at each other won’t make the game any better. Trash talking the other team will contribute to making matter worse, and possible cause more problems. Remember, we’re all here to have fun and get a good game in. Trash talking won’t help either side of the court win the game.

 

Play Fair on the Courts

Don’t be a ball hog, pay attention to the game and respect the call. This isn’t third grade anymore. If you don’t want to respect the court or the game, you shouldn’t be here. We’re all here to have fun, so the last thing we want to happen is an argument break out over a called foul. Give it your all. If you don’t agree, just move on. If you’re cocky, that’s great you think so highly of yourself, but the rest of us are just trying to have a good time. That being said, don’t be shy! Try your best and put in your best effort to be a team player. This is a pickup game, not the NBA, so there’s nothing to feel ashamed of.

The Best Kicks to Sport This Year

Best Kicks

With the New Year finally here, it’s time to upgrade up those old basketball shoes! Having a sturdy and reliable pair of basketball shoes can help avert injuries and help you keep your head in the game. Many people don’t realize how important it is to pick out the right pair of shoes for the court, however the wrong pair of shoes could be what’s causing you to play off in the game. Picking out a pair of shoes may sound easy, however there are so many options out there. Here are the top five kicks you should sport this year!

 

Lebron 13

Known as one of the most durable shoes for all in one performance, comfort and cushioning, the Lebron 13 is one of the best options to get you on the court. The A-list sneaker provides you for reliability while being flexible on the court for quick and smooth movements.

 

Air Jordan 1 All Star

There’s a reason for this shoe being one of the most original models on the court. First, it is one of the oldest models for basketball players from back in the day. Second, it’s reliable and supportive comfort, allows players to focus on the court, rather than their shoes. This is the brand’s most classic shoe in the game, offering you the opportunity to win big like past all stars.

 

Under Armour Curry Two

If you’re looking for a shoe with the latest performance technology, the UA Curry Two is a must try. This shoe is technologically enhanced for high-tech speed performance, while offering a lightweight shoe. The sneaker also contributes to balance and stability through the heel and arch.

 

Adidas D Rose 7

If you’re a guard, the D Rose 7 is your latest go to shoe. The sneaker offers energy boosting solutions as you get out whatever you put in. The higher and faster force you put into the shoe, the better boost you’ll get. This shoe is alo durable in the simple fact that you won’t be slipping and sliding all over the place. It’ll keep you comfortable, while relying on the balance and support it’ll give off on the court.

 

Nike Kyrie 2

Basketball is all constant movement, therefore you need a shoe that knows how to flow and move with your foot to make the ultimate impact on the court. The hyperfuse technology will allow to keep your feet cool and dry while the air in the heel will give you stability and extra boost with movement. The new technology allows for endless movement and extreme cushioning on the court.

 

In his non-professional life, Adam is an avid fan of New York sports, especially basketball, and he’s always ready to jump into a game with friends, family, and clients alike. Adam has lived with Type 1 Diabetes since he was a young child, and managing the disease forms an important part of his life. While it certainly presents some challenges, Adam works hard to make that diabetes does not stop him from reaching any of his goals. He is committed to living a healthy lifestyle, and enjoys staying active and exercising regularly. Adam Tau is always excited to share what he’s learned and swap tips and tricks for fitness and diabetes management with friends both new and old.

Top NBA Stadiums You Need to Visit

Top NBA Stadiums

Some of the greatest dates in the history of basketball have been made in these basketball stadiums. Each national stadium has its own community culture, history, and contribution that makes up who the NBA teams are today. Here’s a look at the must see NBA stadiums to visit in your lifetime.

 

Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

The staples center is known for one of the best stadiums in the nation. Even if you’re not into basketball, this is a tourist must For one, you’re bound to see at least one famous celebrity on the sidelines at a Lakers  home game. Second, the spontaneous atmosphere and cheering of fans, will remind you that you’re in the hollywood neighborhood.

 

United Center, Chicago, IL

The United Center is known for its basketball hype from back in the day. The 90’s basketball stadium is known for having some of the best seats in the battle of stadiums. The stadium is also known for holding a statue of Michael Jordan, as a retirement gift. It also offers great wine, beer, spirits and food for you can enjoy the game to the max.

 

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Madison Square Garden is known as one of the best stadiums in the country. Settled in the heart of New York, the stadium is only steps away from Pennsylvania Station. The stadium opened in the late 1960’s and is home to hundreds of events such as basketball games and concerts. The Garden is a must see for tourists and basketball lovers alike, as the stadium is known for its clean and newly renovated attractions.

 

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

Known as the biggest NBA stadium in the nation, this is a must see to experience the history of the Midwest’s industrial city. The stadium is also known for the three titles won by the Detroit Pistons. And let’s not forget about the 2004 Pacers vs. Pistons fight, which resulted in the suspension of 9 players.

 

Bankers Life FieldHouse, Indianapolis, IN

Bankers LIfe Fieldhouse is only one of the two sporting Venues in the Windy City. Indianapolis is already known as one of the most sportiest cities in the Nation, and the Fieldhouse stadium is one of the reasons. It’s great for locals and tourists alike as almost everything in the City is of walking distance and there is not one bad seat in the house! Don’t forget to stock up on your food and beverage as the Windy City offers plenty of food and drinks within one of the cleanest stadiums in the midwest.

How Basketball Will Help You Succeed in Business

Basketball Businessman

Basketball is a sport that’s loved by many. Watching the game establishes a culture community, while playing the game allows you to establish simple life skills that you’ll be able to use throughout your life. Basketball is also a great sport to learn to play if you’re looking to manage a team or start your own business. Basketball can change your worldwide view of teamwork and strategy concepts. Here’s a look at how basketball skills can allow you to manage your own business.

Leadership

Some of the greatest skills you will learn in basketball is leadership skills. Leadership skills are essential to those looking to manage their own business as well as others. The game of basketball teaches every team member how to manage their own position while coming together to quickly make team decisions. Being on the court teachers you how to work with others and establish relationships (with your teammates) to win over your competition. A workplace is at risk of failure if leadership skills are not exercised. For an even better leadership experience you can practice in basketball is being a team captain. This will allow you to set up strategies and goals for your basketball team to overcome competitors. You can then take these skills back to your office and establish a game plan that applies to your team and customer engagement.

Risk Taking

Another important skill that applies to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners is taking risks. In basketball, team and individual risks are taken all the time. When it comes to making decisions, such as who to pass the ball to or when to shoot hoops, you’re making tough and quick decisions. When you’re on the court, there is always a high risk of loss. Basketball will help you take risks within your business as well. This is an important skill to have in life, but also in the office when it comes to making choices. Although there is a slightly smaller level of risks taken within a business, there’s still a chance of failure. Basketball allows you to relieve the stress of risk failure and boosts your confidence in the decisions you make.

Versatility

Playing basketball also allows you the flexibility and adaptability of problems and challenges. In basketball, if the team needs a player to step in and switch positions, typically they would for the sake of the business. In an office, if a position is missing or needs to be quickly replaced, you’re able to step in and take over. For many people, change isn’t easy, but the game of basketball allows you to learn versatile skills so that you can easily adapt to challenges and change positions.

Life Lessons From Basketball

Ryan C Heffernan: Life Lessons from Basketball

Many people I talk to always wonder, “Why basketball?” For some people, basketball (or sports in general) is very hard to understand. For others, like myself, the game brings critical life values off the court. Basketball is a sport that is revolved around determination, teamwork, and personal development that leads to overall success. These are the reasons why I chose to compare the game of basketball to success.

 

  • Personal Development

 

Basketball is a great sport for personal and professional development. In the game, you learn how to determine your goals and the strategies you will use to reach them. Hard work and long hours of practice are crucial to learning to play well on the court. There will be obstacles that you and your team will have to hurdle over. Basketball teaches you that it’s okay to lose a game, as long as you put hard work and determination into it. This will push you to get back on your feet and try again. These skills are important to apply in life challenges and will push you towards your goals. Basketball allows you to learn and apply the skills of discipline and determination not just on the court, but in real life as well.

 

  • Team Work

 

Playing basketball requires combined effort through multiple people. In a team, everyone has their own role that they must practice in order to contribute to the team. This creates value to the whole team, while learning how to manage your role within a team. In the real world, jobs and organizations require some type of team work. The team-work skills that are learned in the game can effectively be applied to team-work in the workplace.  Everyone has their own role and must manage it in order to reach the overall end goal of the team. Working together creates respect for everyone on the team. Respect is a critical aspect of teamwork so that everyone can reach the same end goal. A game can’t be won without everyone working together.

 

  • Strategize for Success

 

Basketball isn’t just a game, it’s an art. The game requires players to determine the team’s goal, but also planning strategies that will help reach that goal. Players must be organized and understand their roles within the team. They must also learn to plan and prepare for their goal through individual and team practice. Basketball allows players to become leaders and solve problems within the game. Through these skills, the game teaches players the planning process of reaching goals, which can then be applied outside of the court.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” As a basketball player, it is easy to apprehend this quote and apply it to our personal lives. This quote reminds us, that no matter whether or not we play basketball, if you don’t try something you’ve always wanted to do, you’ll never know if you could have succeeded. In basketball, if you miss a shot, you always have an opportunity to try again. The same goes for real-life instances.

Kevin Garnett Retires from Basketball

Ryan C Heffernan: Kevin Garnett Retires from Basketball

Kevin Garnett is unfortunately retiring from basketball. This star player is certainly a contestant for the Hall of Fame, after being the NBA all-star 15 times, receiving an Olympic gold medal, and the NBA champion in 2008. He was scouted immediately out of high school and drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1995. He then went on to play with the Boston Celtics, the Brooklyn Nets, and finished his career with the Timberwolves once again.

While Garnett was with the Timberwolves, the team saw their greatest period of success ever, winning various titles and championships. The same thing happened when he played for the Celtics. Success followed him throughout his entire career, particularly when he joined the ranks of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jason Kidd as the fifth player in the league to play more than 50,000 minutes, due to his amazing talent.

Watch the video below to relive some of the top plays from his career!