Baby Boomers B ball begins

Over 40 league brings old home week to South West Community Center

The parking lot was packed at the Southwest Community Center Sunday, November 8, and old friends schmoozed on the periphery, renewing the bond basketball had forged when they played against each other on city park playgrounds, or as part of fierce high school rivalries.

It was the second week of the Baby Boomers Basketball League at SWCC, and interest was high in that day's final game, the 3 p.m. match up of the two teams which battled for last year's championship, Ballard's and the Cuse Old Gee's.

They had split their two game regular season series, but Ballard's, affectionately known as "Howard and them," took the finals, mainly because the OG's couldn't come up with an answer to the dominance of former SU standout Howard Triche. But sitting on the edge of the stage in the gym Calvin Corriders, who had played with and against some on the court when he was growing up in Central Village and still today early mornings at the downtown Y, pointed up another factor.

"Pony's the glue," the Education Commissioner observed. "Everybody's out here freestyling, and the OG's are as talented as Ballard's, but the don't have the discipline. With Pony calling the shots, Ballard's wins with real teamwork."

Former Nottingham standout Pony Bullock leads a local cavalcade of stars for Ballard's, including Gary Sparks, Bobby Chestnut, Pops Anderson and Triche. Ballard's convincing victory that day established them as heavy favorites to repeat as champions of the nine team, 18 week season.

Sitting next to Corriders Parks Commissioner Pat Driscoll reflected that he had played against some on the court when they shared intense high school rivalries. "There's no secret that the city rivalries are still here after 30 years," he characterized the action. {Q}"They still have the intensity, the appreciation of the game. I hope the kids in high school today appreciate the passion, the healthy rivalries out here. If you're a hoops junkie, there's no better place to be on a Sunday afternoon."{Q}

The four game afternoons at SWCC, 401 South Avenue, begin a noon with an atmosphere complimented with Ms. Lisa's hot dogs, burgers, Italian sausage and home made brownies. The 20 minute running halves are punctuated by a pulsing rhythmic sound system and league staffers Ed Mitchell and Jesse Brantley chorusing affectionate sarcasms from the scorer's table. A burst of hustle by Triche in the last three minutes of Sunday's first half that essentially put the game out of reach elicited a loud singular response:

"Somebody call the Fire Department and tell them to put Howard Triche out."

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