A newsmagazine by and for the youth of Louisville

On the Record

A newsmagazine by and for the youth of Louisville

On the Record

A newsmagazine by and for the youth of Louisville

On the Record

Dunks After Dark

Luke Boggs, new to Louisville, noticed games of pickup basketball being played around the city. From big games, to small 3v3 tournaments, basketball is a recreational hobby for Louisvillians of all ages.
Dunks+After+Dark

 

Dribble, swoosh, screech, clap, yell. The sounds of pick-up basketball at Seneca Park are familiar for frequent players, but completely new for Iris, a fellow On the Record staffer, and I. Nearly every night, driving home from school, sports practice or other responsibilities, we watched basketball being played after sunset. Seeing the games piqued our interest, so we decided to check it out. After discussing our experience on the court, Iris and I concluded that Seneca Park’s pickup basketball scene can be summed up in one word: community.

 

Pickup basketball is very similar to club basketball, but with a few key differences. Primarily, pickup is just for fun. Athletes enter the court hoping to play for recreational  purposes, rather than a competitive one. On a more relaxed level, there are rules like no free throws, call your own fouls, and only 1-2 point shots. 

 

Despite a highly focused environment, Iris and I were surprised to be greeted by rugged kindness; the type someone would expect from a coach or older mentor. I made my way to a dedicated player and Eastern High School alum, Jonathan Cameron. Not pausing his game, he dribbles and shoots around me. He explains that he comes here a few times a week. 

 

“I really enjoy hitting shots that I’ve never hit before,” Jonathan describes, “and playing against people better than me.” 

 

He turns around and points at a guy resting on a bench a few feet away, Joe, whom he met on the same court we were on a few months earlier. Iris and I were amazed to see how many people knew each other. Dap ups left and right, small talk in every corner, and more athletes arriving by the minutes. Conversation was never-ending and athletic passion was relentless. It was clear that Seneca Park is a hot spot for social gathering.

 

Over the course of the night, I got to talk to three more players: Theo Breckenridge, Fisher Quigley, and Sam Newton, all alumni of duPont Manual High School and very experienced pickup basketball players. 

 

“Anyone can play. Guys and girls no matter the skill level,” Fisher says. 

 

“Yeah, nobody cares. It’s just a way to exercise and let out aggression,” Theo adds. Sam agreed with them, noting the social aspect of pickup more than the exercise. 

 

“A lot of times, there’s the same people and you start to recognize them, even give them nicknames!” he said.  Sam goes on to tell me that one of his good friends he met playing pickup basketball about four years ago. 

 

“I hang out with him almost every week,” he says.

 

Pickup basketball is an outlet for many. Whether it be the competition, burned calories, or a little bit of “social hour,” this addition to basketball has given many young adults across the city a community to look forward to. Not only is this community an endless network, but it is welcoming to anyone and everyone. Uniquely Louisville, this environment is what has led people to play pickup at Seneca for over five years and counting. 

 

“To anyone reading, do not be afraid to play…it’s just basketball,” Sam remarked.

 

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About the Contributors
Luke Boggs, Writer
Luke Boggs is a sophomore reporter for On The Record. This is Luke’s first year on staff and he’s excited to discover what being on a magazine is like. Luke is involved in speech and debate, volleyball, and his job at Playa Bowls.
Iris Apple, Photographer
Iris is a sophomore and a photographer for On the Record. This is Iris’s first year on staff and loves being a part of making an impact and contributing with her love of photography. Iris is involved in lacrosse and participates in fun clubs around school. She loves listening to Noah Kahan and going to concerts whenever she can!
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