New Boys Basketball Equipment Well Deserved
by The Milton Measure on Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Dribbling down the shining hardwood of the ACC, the proud members of Milton Academy’s Boys Varsity Basketball face their opponent of the day. Fans from all grades watch from the bleachers while parents, rival fans, faculty, and even visiting alumni, stand on the sidelines. They watch the constant back and forth. They cheer as a player makes two consecutive free throws. A shiny new scoreboard keeps track of what’s going on and, nearby, players sit on the brand new white chairs, some encouraging their teammates loudly and others anxiously waiting to get out on the court. These new seats and scoreboard showed up recently with a brand new minibus for the team to ride to games in. Many onlookers have questioned whether or not this equipment is necessary and why boys’ basketball, specifically, has been given it. Such questions are legitimate; however, put your accusations of favoritism to rest—this is not the case.
From my years at Milton, involved in different aspects of their sports programs, I have found that Milton Academy takes pride in both its students’ academic diligence and its enthusiastic interest in athletic endeavors, with a special pride for their successes. The athletic reference page on Milton’s website says that the boys’ varsity squad has “achieved school record breaking success over the past few seasons”. So did the team’s recent success spur these improvements? In addition, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Class IV Dean and athletic trainer, suggests that the athletic department’s new equipment is simply meant to further improve the department’s facilities, not to benefit any team in particular. He emphasizes that these changes are no different than any other improvements on campus. For example, Facilities diligently repaints the tennis courts every year, a change generally unnoticed by the typical student and faculty member. The advancements in the boys’ basketball department have been just a little more obvious.
In particular, misconceptions abound concerning the new minibus used mostly by the basketball team. The JV, freshman, and girls’ basketball teams use it as well. The bus itself did not deplete any budget, as it eliminates the cost of having to hire one of the big yellow vehicles most of us are accustomed to. The minibus will eventually pay for itself. Unlike hockey teams, who lug around huge bags of equipment in large numbers, basketball teams require little space and only need room for around 15 players, making the new bus perfectly suited to their needs.
The new chairs and scoreboard have already been used by other basketball teams — particularly Girls Varsity — and will remain in use for the volleyball teams next fall season. So this new equipment is not completely unnecessary and even benefits the school by improving our facilities and appearance. Although the two varsity basketball teams are benefiting now, others will benefit later. Just because one sport has received an extra boost hardly means that Milton has paid any less attention to all of its other athletics and extracurriculars, such as hockey, squash, swimming, wrestling, winter plays, or dance concert.
Boys’ varsity basketball, and the other teams who have used the new equipment, have worked hard and earned anything and everything they’ve received. The sport at Milton has come a long way in a short amount of time. The players and coaches are there, above all else, because they love the game. Of course the team and the school take even greater joy in their wins and success because, well, who wouldn’t? And who could ask for more? That’s why Milton Academy harbors such an enthusiastic athletic spirit and why they try to give as generously as possible: for the benefit of the teams and the whole school, cultivating those who just play the game for the love of it.
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