Cinderella Ball: A Look Inside Small-College Basketball in by Bob Kuska

By Bob Kuska

For lots of the 20th century, West Virginia used to be a school basketball hotbed. Its significant courses have been successful, yet maybe even extra winning was once the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic convention, composed of fifteen colleges that hardly ever earned headlines yet set many files and have become an identifiable a part of small city tradition and a resource of kingdom delight. This ethos exists this day in small city Kentucky and Indiana yet struggles to outlive in West Virginia. a part of the reason being the state's inhabitants decline because the Nineteen Fifties. That, writer Bob Kuska argues, in addition to the increase of cable and satelliteВ TV and the foremost university basketball empire, stole the thunder--and the crowds--from those small city communities.
And but, those groups play on in obscurity and nonetheless locate good fortune. opposed to the backdrop of West Virginia's nice small collage historical past, Kuska chronicles the day by day struggles and triumphs of 1 glossy college, Alderson-Broaddus university in Philippi, West Virginia. What occurred to that workforce in the course of a rags-to-riches yearlong stretch would've been awesome at any point, not to mention at a faculty with very low athletic division budgets and coffee visibility that makes recruiting gifted gamers virtually impossible.
As he alternates among coaches and avid gamers, earlier and current, Kuska contrasts the fan enthusiasm of the conference's early years with the apathy that plagues the groups of the twenty-first century. If activities enthusiasts can get prior the media and the insanity that has made collage basketball more and more just like specialist basketball in its self-indulgence and sensationalism, they're left with leagues just like the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference--scrappy, clever, and spirited--and nonetheless discovering how you can be successful and thrive.

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He needed them to think “pass lrst,” keeping the ball in constant motion along the perimeter. He also needed them to be smart, read their defender’s stance, and know whether to pass, screen, cut, or drive to the basket for a score. Placing lve players on the perimeter was high risk because nobody would be positioned inside with the dedicated responsibility to rebound missed shots. But it was a player-friendly offense that would give them the freedom to play without keeping one eye on the bench.

Tucker was honest with Zimmerman. At Akron, he had spent most of his days studying and eating pizza. Tucker lgured that he could work his way into game shape within a few weeks, maybe a month. Although Tucker was so sore after his lrst practice that he barely could walk, Zimmerman offered him a half scholarship for the season. He instructed Tucker to be back in Philippi the day after Christmas, when he would prepare for the twenty minutes of play that would come three days later, on the road, against Campbellsville and their two burly six-foot-nine centers.

He said Tucker had been an all-league performer, but, with heavy feet and little spring in his legs, he attracted no serious college scholarship offers. According to Montgomery, Tucker was a great kid who was lnishing his third semester at the University of Akron. Tucker would be back in Wooster at semester break in a few days, and Montgomery told Zimmerman that he’d mention the chance to play college basketball to him. When Zimmerman headed into his oflce after the Shaw trip, he had a message on his answering machine from Tucker.

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