The final whistle blew, disgusting black and yellow pinnies were removed and the ZetaZigaZama Basketball team walked off the court for the final time in 2016. After a third consecutive blowout defeat, spirits were low, but in the end, the weekly intramural basketball had been a fun experience. ZZZBB’s 51-26 loss to ZBT 1 put ZetaZigaZama out of the playoffs after an ultimately disappointing season.
The game started off well enough. ZZZBB opened a small lead in the first half and played stingy defense. ZBT 1 could not hit anything as ZetaZigaZama was paced out to a two-point lead behind an incredible first half from Rahim the Dream. Rahim came off the bench and scored 10 of ZZZBB’s 19 first-half points, including a long three-pointer. However, ZBT 1 battled back and eventually took a 21-19 lead on a last-second jumper to end the half.
The second half was brutal once again for ZZZBB. The team looked tired and the lack of any solid depth took ZZZBB out of the game. ZBT 1 went on a run to start the half and the ZZZBB offense stalled completely. The transition defense was terrible in the second half as ZZZBB fell asleep on numerous occasions. The team only managed 7 points in the second-half while ZBT scored 30 on the Zetas’ lackluster defense.
“You know, I think we showed good fight. We just lost track of the fundamentals in the second half of the game today,” said The Curler, who scored the opening basket but only finished with 2 points.
“We had fun,” said the Baller. “We’re not a very good basketball team, so I’m kinda amazed we were in the game at all.”
The game got progressively stranger as the second half wore on. On one play, the Captain drove to the basket in search of his first points of the season and the refs missed a clear elbow to the face of the defender. After a ZZZBB turnover, the Curler also hit an opposing player in the face but the foul was not called. There was also a 10 minute delay in the action due to one of the ZBT 1 players getting sick and throwing up during the game.
But as for ZZZBB’s slim playoff hopes, none of that mattered. While ZetaZigaZama could have made the playoffs with a victory, the complete failure in the second half showed that the team just wasn’t up to a playoff-caliber level. There will be no postseason for ZZZBB, as the bracket was released and ZZZBB missed out on the top spot. The team ends the regular season 62nd overall out of 81 teams.
“I think we gave 100 percent and hustled hard, uh, you know. We got outplayed, but uh, we’re still a team,” said Mr. Turn and Shoot, who was not available during the game due to illness.
At the end of the game, Charles, the Captain and founder of ZetaZigaZama Ball is Life Basketball, scored a contested layup for his first points of the season. It was a fitting end to a season that started with promise, but eventually hid the cold, hardwood floor of reality. The team could not play effective defense when it mattered and the offense had basically no rhythm to it.
“Once the other teams found out we actually can’t dribble with our left hands, we had no chance,” said The Curler.
Rahim the Dream failed to score in the second half after his outburst in the first. The author of this article got some playing time but turned the ball over three times, as per usual. The Baller played well but couldn’t get enough shots to fall in the second half. Spiderman was very active on defense but his shot was off, other than a long three he hit to keep the game relatively close (within 11) in the second half.
It’s actually really incredible the team was one decent half away from going 2-2 and making the playoffs with two players who played basketball in high school (The Baller and Rahim the Dream), a curler, a cross-country runner, two soccer players and one player who missed three of the four games. Turns out that is not the recipe for a great basketball team.
ZetaZigaZama ends the season with a negative 93 point differential. In the three combined second halves of ZZZBB’s losses, the scored a grand total of 21 points. That’s not very good at all.
Estimated Season Stats (Not Actually Real)
The Baller: 9.3 ppg, 6.8 rebs, 3 apg, 37% FG, 70% FT
Spiderman: 6 ppg, 9.1 rebs, 1 apg, 34% FG, 0% FT
The Curler: 4 ppg, 4.8 rebs, 1.4 apg, 40% FG 50% FT
Albert: 3.4 ppg, 6.1 rebs, 20% FG, 25% FT
The Captain: 0.5 ppg, 4 rebs, 3% FG, 0% FT
Rahim the Dream: 3.3 ppg, 3 reb, 28% FG
Turn and Shoot: 0 ppg, 1 rebound, 0% FG
The Shark: 0 ppg, 0 rebounds, 0% FG
Tristan Jung: 1.2 ppg, 0 rebounds, 33.3% FG, 25% FT
TEAM: 28.5 points per game. 1-3 record
Sometimes, sports isn’t about glory, or championships, or even competency. Sometimes, the joy of sports is just playing a game with your friends for an hour. Although it is nice to be successful once in a while…
Here is what I learned:
- Basketball really is a team game that actually requires serious amounts of communication and chemistry.
- Defense is hard.
- Offense is also hard.
- Basketball IQ is a real thing, and I have a basketball IQ of -71. In the last game I got called for a traveling violation and failed to call timeout in time when trapped on the ground with the ball. Added to my inbounds pass fiasco and the fact I can’t figure out how to play zone defense, I think -71 is about right.
- People who play basketball in college for real are actually incredible athletes, no matter what level they are at.
- You need to get the ball up past half court within 10 seconds.
- I learned that I am still as awkward an uncoordinated as I was when I was 7 years old and learning to play basketball for the first time. I learned that when the other team has fully-grown men, I probably wasn’t going to be able to guard them. I learned that when the other team has reasonably fast 18-year-olds, I probably wasn’t going to be able to guard them.
- Distance running, my main athletic endeavor, is an activity that does not translate whatsoever on a tiny basketball court.
- Traveling is real!
- I can’t do anything coordinated with my left hand other than type!
Also, I would like to petition Northwestern to split up the Intramural Basketball Leagues into three divisions so that crappy teams like ZZZBB don’t have to play actually good basketball teams. There should really be a mid-tier league (the Grey League?) and than the likes of ZZZBB in a lower division. The two teams we played in the middle of our schedule were so much better at basketball than we were. It’s ridiculous.
Anyway, it’s been fun competing in a real team sport for the first time since 7th grade. Let’s try to get slightly better before next year. Thanks to the everyone on the team and anyone who is daft enough to read these articles.
Tristan Jung, Media Wizard of the 2016 ZetaZigaZama Ball is Life Basketball team