national champ

NS and I both played high school basketball. We've always enjoyed this sport of speed and strategy, a game where you only need five people to call yourselves a team, and you can easily play a version of the sport in one-on-one. I liked that we typically played indoors, making year-round play possible in the Northeast, although playground ball had its own unique appeal as well. Basketball is also a great deal of fun to watch, since the action is typically high-paced and the next score is only moments away.

Like many guys (and unlike most girls), NS has kept up with his favorite sport in his post-high school years, finding pick-up games and informal team play in all settings, including military bases, the Salvation Army, and a posh New Jersey gym. It truly is his choice form of exercise.

He was a bit concerned when we moved to Grand Cayman that he would find his first lack of bball. Although it's an international sport, basketball has found its largest fan base in its home country of America. Given the British heritage Grand Cayman enjoys, more popular sports here are rugby, cricket, and soccer. NS was lucky enough to meet some guys who play pick-up games on Thursday nights, but even better than that was the team he joined in the Cayman Islands Basketball Association: Team Charterland.

CIBA is the national basketball league in the Cayman Islands. Charterland is in Division Two. I guess that means it's the equivalent to the NBA's Development League. Or the WNBA. Or so NS tells me.

As the season began (and recently ended) during our ever-so-long six-month busy season, I have to confess that I only made it to two games. The first of these was outdoors, and although the sundown mosquitoes were out in their usual force, I enjoyed both the game and the setting.

As I told NS and JS after this outdoor game, it really was not their best showing, even though they still blew the other team away. I amused myself with the ever-changing backdrop.

As much fun as it is to watch my guy play sports at any time, the better game was the second one I attended. They played a much smarter game, and we were all indoors - an instant energy boost this time of year. I watched as the Charterland team maintained a fast-paced game while giving everyone an opportunity to score. I found myself cheering for the team and for each individual; they all played well.

Recently, Charterland earned itself a spot in the league's playoff rounds. Like in the regular season, Charterland cleaned up during every game, finishing their undefeated season with the championship title. CayCompass covered the story here.


Now we have a shiny, "gold" trophy displayed on our increasingly-randomly-decorated entertainment center. Why not? I'm proud of these guys - they played well and obviously had a lot of healthy fun.  Way to go, national champions!


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