Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Meet the Tar Heels

Ben…smallish 5th grader, not afraid to shoot, defend, or rebound. Numbers have improved steadily throughout the season. Went to a basketball camp between Christmas and New Years. Wears black Nikes. Dad is head of HR for CNN (looks like a young Tony Dungy, and came to a game wearing a Peyton Manning jersey, his favorite).

Colin…with a mop of brown hair and grin on his face, he looks like your typical boy. Could be his first year of basketball, but is improving and growing more confident with each game. Wears the same silver Nikes as Riley.

Giovanni…good looking kid, will soon break the hearts of teenage girls. His scoring and rebounding are needed for the Tar Heels to play well. Little brother may be an even better player. Dad Milo has helped run practices. Giovanni and his brothers have great apparel to wear: college sweatshirts (Fordham!), Jets jerseys, etc.

Jackson…another “typical boy.” Unafraid to dive after loose balls. Has made 2 or 3 baskets, and has gotten good at passing inside to JB.

JB…best player? Can shoot and rebound in traffic. Needs to work on his foul shooting, as he is often fouled while shooting. Lives on our street. Has played Walton Junior football. Wears white New Balance shoes.

Kevin…point guard, set the only screen I’ve seen all year. Likes to keep hands in his shorts’ pockets. Of all the players, he makes the most of his ability. Plays like Ernie Grunfield, looks like a young John Belushi. Mom keeps all stats on a tablet PC, dad favors crossword puzzles.

Matthew…tallest player on team, over a head taller than little Riley. First season playing basketball. Has improved, particularly on defense, but others often out-quick him for rebounds and loose balls. Was given a men’s Large jersey, which dwarfs him. Got his number of choice (#3), like Connor Smith. Started out wearing adidas shell-toes, but switched to Air Jordan 2’s.

Nicolas…point guard. Likes to penetrate and shoot, which is just what the team needs. 4th leading scorer, behind JB, Patrick, and Giovanni. Started out wearing white/black high-tops, but just got a new pair of black/blue Nike high-tops. His dad is the head coach.

Patrick…leading rebounder and shot-blocker. Sometimes shoots too softly. Up there with JB as the team’s best player, but needs to better move to the ball. Quiet, workmanlike demeanor. Wears the new Reebok Zigtechs. Played Walton Junior football. Dad is the personable assistant coach/Tar Heel fan, who has the same exact UNC shirt as me. (both coaches have gone out of their way to work with and encourage Matthew).

Riley…tiny 5th grader is a fun-to-watch bundle-of-energy. Every time he starts to run (always at full speed), Riley will first take a big hop. Unafraid to shoot, defend, or inbound the ball. Every time he takes an outside shot, the crowd holds it’s breath, anticipating a great shot. When Riley wears his warm-up pants to practice, he goes out of his way to slide across the gym floor. Mop-headed Pete Rose haircut. Cute little sister is also all energy.

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