Posts Tagged ‘basketball’


Gavin Hardy is good at both the bass and basketball. For a bigger image, watch the video at WFMY.

Our niece teaches orchestra at a middle school in North Carolina. Teaching orchestra is a job she loves, and she has often said she thinks she was born to do it. Sometimes she gets notes from long ago students telling her things like, “I always looked forward to your class. It was the time I felt best in school.”

She encourages students of every ability, and when she sees exceptional talent, she likes to spread the word. Here’s a story about a young bass player.

Maddie Gardner at television station WFMY in Clemmons has the report.

“You might say basketball is like music. The ball hitting the court: resonance. A shoe squeaking against the hardwood: pitch. The perfect shot: crescendo. And then there’s the discipline.

” ‘I think both go hand in hand. You have to be very disciplined to be a musician – same thing with an athlete. You have to practice it. You have to do it when nobody is looking. You have to be able to work hard when nobody is watching you do it.’

“Coach Tommy Witt says 8th grader Gavin Hardy brings a certain harmony to the Clemmons Middle School gym.

” ‘I hope to play at a division one school. My dream is to play in the NBA, but I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work, but I’m willing to put in the work,’ Gavin said. …

” ‘Just keeping the tunnel vision, staying focused, you gotta block out all of the distractions that get in your mind, know what you want and attack it. Strive to be the best,’ he said. …

“For 10 years Gavin’s been on the court. … But playing the National Anthem on his bass was something he’d never done before.

” ‘It’s funny – we want to get people to play the national anthem and I went to [his orchestra teacher] Barbara and said, “Do you think he can play the national anthem in his uniform?” ‘ Witt said.

‘It was just a no brainier; he can do anything,’ Gavin’s orchestra teacher, Barbara Bell said. ‘Whatever he puts his mind to he can do.’ …

” ‘I’ve been listening to classical music ever since I was four. I just like the string family and I like the dark tone of the bass,’ Gavin said.

Gavin says he usually listens to string music to get pumped up for a game but before the team played Winston-Salem Prep he decided he’d be the string music before tip off. …

” ‘He’s always interested in more. He keeps working harder to get to the next level,’ [said Bell]. …

” ‘When your best player is also your hardest worker you have a chance to be really good and that’s what Gavin has done for us,’ [Coach] Witt said.” More here.

Barbara tells me that her student learned the National Anthem on the bass in two days and that the publicity brought him wider attention.

“The National Bass Society has contacted Gavin,” she said in a text. “They want him and they’re offering a playing opportunity. The assistant principal bassist from the Philadelphia Orchestra contacted him. He teaches at Juilliard and he is very interested in helping him. I am beyond excited for him. I was screaming and jumping up and down when he told me.

“The Philadelphia Orchestra bassist loved his playing and was especially excited about his work ethic and attitude. I told Gavin he had to give me tickets to wherever he lands.”

Gavin’s teacher with her twins. All three are string musicians.


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I hardly need to remind readers of this blog that people are people. We are all just living our lives, with more or less the same daily concerns. And the differences are what make things interesting.

Sam Radwany at the radio show Only a Game recently described some youthful experiences in Minneapolis that sound both the same and different. The story is about a group of American Muslim girls who choose to cover themselves in keeping with their kind of Islam but who are also enthusiastic basketball players.

“The Twin Cities are home to one of the largest Somali populations in the world. The community is concentrated in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, where these pre-teen players go to school. … Balancing their cultural and religious standards of modesty with sports can be tricky.

“ ‘Sometimes our hijab, our scarves, got off, and we would have to time out, pause, to fix it,’ Samira said. ‘Our skirts were a problem — they were all the way down to our feet.’ …

“Last season, some of the girls opted to wear long pants instead of dresses. But that still put them at a disadvantage when playing other Minnesota teams. …

“And because the girls’ team didn’t have their own jerseys, they had to share with the boys. Ten-year-old Amal says the experience was unpleasant.

“ ‘Horrible! Very horrible,’ she said. ‘And the boys, their jerseys were all sweaty and yucky and nasty.’ …

“That’s where a local nonprofit dedicated to expanding sports and recreation opportunities for local Muslim girls stepped in. … [They] brought in researchers and designers from the university to help the young athletes find a new solution to the stinky jersey problem.

“Jennifer Weber, the girls’ coach, said the players did most of the work themselves, with guidance from the experts. …

“Chelsey Thul from the university’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport described some features of the new uniforms: ‘And so this sport uniform has black leggings. It’s longer, probably about to the knees …

“ ‘The biggest change to the hijab is that it’s not a pullover, so that instead, it fastens with Velcro at the neck,’ Weber said. ‘So it’s got some give to it, and it’s forgiving, and it moves as they move.’

“And of course, with the young girls’ input, there’s a bit of color. Samira and Amal said the team had a lot of ideas.” Read about their design ideas and their delight in the uniforms here.

Photo: Jim Mone/AP
Somali American girls in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis designed their own uniforms for greater freedom of movement.


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In Bhutan, the queen is an enthusiastic basketball player. And she has an unusual advantage: no one is allowed to touch royalty without permission.

Today, says Gardiner Harris of the NY Times, Bhutanese royalty has begun sharing their game with the public.

“After decades of being a largely royal preserve, basketball here is about to have its breakout moment.

“A South Korean coach has been hired to cobble together a national team that many hope will someday be able to challenge its neighbors for bragging rights in South Asia and beyond. Bhutan has tried many times to win an international game but, except for a single victory in a three-on-three tournament, has never succeeded. …

“Bhutanese players say their best hope for a win could be against the Maldives, a country with half of Bhutan’s population that is threatened by global warming. As sea levels rise, Maldivians may have trouble finding places to play, players noted. And facing them in Thimphu’s thin air (the city’s altitude is 7,710 feet) could provide a crucial advantage.”


Photo: Kuni Takahashi for the NY Times
Bhutan’s queen, Jetsun Pema Wangchuck, who is a good player

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