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Pre-game dunk costs team playoff game


BrySmalls

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http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=922635

This was a "teaching" moment that comes up for high school coaches from time to time.

You know, one of those, "We just got a bad break, and that's life, we have to deal with it."

On March 5 in Cut Bank, Mont., Isaiah Martin, a 5-foot-11 senior guard for Harlem's boys basketball team, dunked during warmups for a high school tournament game with Shelby.

There was a shower of glass as the backboard shattered.

Harlem had to forfeit the game.

According to the Montana High School Association, dunking is not allowed in pregame warmups in tournament play. If a backboard is damaged by a pregame dunk, the offending school must forfeit. The rule was put in 10 years ago.

Harlem, which had finished second in its district, forfeited the Northern Divisional game to Shelby. Harlem was dumped into the loser's bracket and won on Friday night, but on a quick turnaround Saturday morning it lost in overtime and was eliminated.

"We had that talk about life being tough and you roll with the punches and how you pick yourself up," Harlem coach Harlan Mount said. "It took a lot out of the team."

Almost a week later, you could hear the dismay in the 48-year-old Mount's voice, as if the talk and the lesson did not soothe his team's disappointment. The Wildcats had made a 168-mile trip only to be left face-down with an improbable forfeit, which goes down in the books as a 2-0 defeat.

"I was stunned," Mount said. "At first, the tournament official came to our locker room and said it would probably be a technical for breaking the backboard. Then he came back and asked me to step outside with him. It was in the rule book, in black and white.

"I thought it was harsh."

The Harlem fans made the 168-mile trip, paid for their tickets, took their seats, but did not get their money back when their team forfeited.

Mount understands a rule was broken and there are consequences, but he has other questions. There was a thunderous dunk, he said, in the game before Harlem took the floor, a dunk he heard in his team's locker room.

Did anyone inspect the backboard?

"Isaiah is a buck-fifty, maybe 160 pounds," Mount said. "Hard to believe a kid at that weight shattered a backboard. Was it already defective?"

If a backboard is broken with a dunk in a game, Mount said there is a technical called, but it is not a forfeit. He wonders why there is a difference.

Mount said he told his team no dunking in pregame warmups, but when he got to the tournament there were other teams dunking in pregame. He told his kids it was OK.

Brian Kavanagh, the coach at Cut Bank, said after Harlem forfeited that players on other teams approached the rim gingerly in pregame warmups and there were no more pregame dunks. A lesson had been learned the hard way.

Harlem finished the season 13-10. It was a good record in a rebuilding year, but the Wildcats expected better in the postseason. After all, they were the only team to beat the top seed in the division all season.

Mount is Director of the Native American Career and Technical Education Program at the Fort Belknap College. It is a tribal college, which is near the Native American reservations in north Montana - almost on the Canadian border. He is training students for real life and jobs.

His team's forfeit was just some more real-life, on-the-job training.

I know there was just a college hoops incident involving pre-game dunks, but this takes the playoff game, er, cake.

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Yeah. apparently it is illegal to dunk in NCAA warmups. which gave St. Mary's a technical before the WCC championship game against Gonzaga, making the score 1-0 before the ball was even tipped. There really needs to be some changes in amateur sports like this, because the governing bodies are setting a really unrealistic expectation for sportsmanship.

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Yeah. apparently it is illegal to dunk in NCAA warmups. which gave St. Mary's a technical before the WCC championship game against Gonzaga, making the score 1-0 before the ball was even tipped. There really needs to be some changes in amateur sports like this, because the governing bodies are setting a really unrealistic expectation for sportsmanship.
I disagree, the rule in most HS and college is OK. You don't dunk in warmups. Granted, I think that it should have just been a technical foul in the story's case.
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Typical scholastic/collegiate rule. They make more nonsense rules up for no good reason, and this benefits who? The kids right? Isnt that who this is supposd to be about? Take for instance the NCAA. Lets worry more about a college kid getting a couple throwback jerseys as a gift. But you want a football playoff? A true national champion? Nah, no thanks. We cant figure out how to do that. Lets just worry about eligibility and grades. Because everyone wins there.

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Dunking a basketball does not naturally cause a backboard to shatter. Maybe it was worn-out or shoddy equipment. The game should be rescheduled.

Which...I know this is off topic...but you guys remember how Shaq broke backboards like every other week? Those were rigged for NBA pub right? Nobody has broke a backboard in the NBA since his rookie year I think...

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I would not want to be that kid in the locker room after they just found out they had to forfeit the game because of something he did! Wow, I can't even imagine what he had to put up with after that!

As far as the debate as to whether or not this was fair goes, I'm not sure where I stand on this. This is a high school basketball game. How quickly do you think it's going to take to replace a backboard after it's been shattered at the high school level in Montana? I wouldn't imagine that any high school anywhere has a ready supply of backup basketball backboards that can just be installed immediately after another is destroyed. Not in this economy, especially. Whereas in the NBA, if a backboard is shattered, another one is installed and the game continues on after the delay. So maybe this kid's breaking the backboard at this school truly meant that hey, this game simply cannot be played today, it's your team's fault, you forfeit. It sucks for the fans and all the players involved, especially on the losing team, but that was probably the reason why that rule was instituted to begin with, you know?

On the other hand, while I understand why that rule is in place, I'm not seeing the real problem if the basketball players do some dunking during the warmups, those are practice shots. They're practicing their jump shots and layups and whatever, why not let them practice dunking while they're at it, but with the added risk that if you break the backboard because you were showing off making a dunk, your team forfeits, but if you want to do it, knock yourself out?

Here's a random stats question: It said that it was going to go down as a 2-0 loss for that team. Who on the other team is going to get credit for those two points? Did they have a player shoot a couple of technical fouls at the other end of the court to get to the two points, or is the game scratched from the record or something?

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On the other hand, while I understand why that rule is in place, I'm not seeing the real problem if the basketball players do some dunking during the warmups, those are practice shots. They're practicing their jump shots and layups and whatever, why not let them practice dunking while they're at it, but with the added risk that if you break the backboard because you were showing off making a dunk, your team forfeits, but if you want to do it, knock yourself out?

I don't think you can punish a team with a forfeit for doing something legal. Either way, you don't want to break a backboard in high school, so you don't want to risk it by allowing the dunking.

I think it's a good rule to make dunking illegal. I like it as a "T", as I think such an act should "hurt" and not "kill" a team, but because of the cost of backboards and that this is high school, I think it's totally appropriate that they forfeit. A game cannot be played today, so you in it on who's fault it is.

It would be rough to be the kid, but the coach is to blame. Don't tell kids they can dunk. Even if it's not against the rules, any decent coach would not let his players do it. Warmups are not supposed to become dunk contests.

Here's a random stats question: It said that it was going to go down as a 2-0 loss for that team. Who on the other team is going to get credit for those two points? Did they have a player shoot a couple of technical fouls at the other end of the court to get to the two points, or is the game scratched from the record or something?

I doubt anyone gets any credit for the points.

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Yes, crappy break for that team and all, but all I can really think about after reading that article is "Harlem, MONTANA?!" :blink:

Either alot of Dutch or alot of blacks out in Montana.

I can't imagine either.

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On the other hand, while I understand why that rule is in place, I'm not seeing the real problem if the basketball players do some dunking during the warmups, those are practice shots. They're practicing their jump shots and layups and whatever, why not let them practice dunking while they're at it, but with the added risk that if you break the backboard because you were showing off making a dunk, your team forfeits, but if you want to do it, knock yourself out?

I don't think you can punish a team with a forfeit for doing something legal. Either way, you don't want to break a backboard in high school, so you don't want to risk it by allowing the dunking.

I think it's a good rule to make dunking illegal. I like it as a "T", as I think such an act should "hurt" and not "kill" a team, but because of the cost of backboards and that this is high school, I think it's totally appropriate that they forfeit. A game cannot be played today, so you in it on who's fault it is.

It would be rough to be the kid, but the coach is to blame. Don't tell kids they can dunk. Even if it's not against the rules, any decent coach would not let his players do it. Warmups are not supposed to become dunk contests.

I see your point about needing dunking during the warmups to be illegal so you can't force a team to forfeit for doing something legal. I've never been on a basketball team, so I wouldn't know how the practice sessions are whatsoever. I'd never heard of such a rule in place until I heard about that technical foul in that one college game a few days ago where it was 1-0 before the tip-off even happened. That's why I didn't see any problem with him doing the dunks in the warmup.

At the same time, though, if they're afraid that dunking during the warmups could result in the shattering of the backboards, exactly like what happened in this game, wouldn't they also be worried about something like that happening during the actual game and also ban dunking altogether?

This is the part where the argument of, "Dunking contests during the warmups are not sportsmanlike" moves into play, though, so I guess the rule does make more sense. It's no good if a much stronger team demoralizes a weaker team by going in before the game even starts and showing them up. Stupid "superstars" don't get to show off for whichever girl they're currently going out with and/or "the boys" make an ass of himself before the game begins, and that's always a good thing, too. And that's probably exactly what this kid was doing, he was trying to show off, broke the backboard, cost his team the game and probably the tournament they were playing in. I'm sure "the boys" and "the girlfriend" were thrilled, lol.

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This is the part where the argument of, "Dunking contests during the warmups are not sportsmanlike" moves into play, though, so I guess the rule does make more sense. It's no good if a much stronger team demoralizes a weaker team by going in before the game even starts and showing them up. Stupid "superstars" don't get to show off for whichever girl they're currently going out with and/or "the boys" make an ass of himself before the game begins, and that's always a good thing, too. And that's probably exactly what this kid was doing, he was trying to show off, broke the backboard, cost his team the game and probably the tournament they were playing in. I'm sure "the boys" and "the girlfriend" were thrilled, lol.

Back when I was in high school, the pre-game dunk shows didn't demoralize the opponents. Indeed, they wanted to watch the show as much as the folks in the stands. If the opponents were going to possibly be demoralized, they would have been before the balls were even rolled out.

As for the second part-it's part of high school life, indeed adolescence. Why fight nature?

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