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Sorta OT: Beloved Small Basketball Gyms

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RockyMTblue2

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So, do you know how you just feel right and comfortable in a space/place and can't put your finger on why? Well, I have always loved the movie Hoosiers - you know, Gene Hackman, Dennis Hooper, Barbara Hershey et al. It is a superbly crafted period piece on its own. And it played this afternoon on and HBO channel for the 7th million time (a different subject for a different day). I turned it on in the kitchen and went about the business of prepping, because I am a world class chef in my own mind, but the sous quit a long time ago and I'm stuck with prep. Anyway, half way through the yellow onion slicing it hit me! The gym in the movie where Gene first get's himself thrown out of the game, leading his assistant coach to have a heart attack, is an exact duplicate, right down to that industrial brown tile on the wall, to the gym where as a 10 year old spectator watching my elder brother's JV game, I feel in love with basketball! And as the movie rolled out 2 or 3 more small town gyms evoked the same memory. In those days, small town and regional school equaled gym and auditorium were one, and behind one basket was the stage and spectator seating was an afterthought and could be inventive and dangerous!

That was Greene County, New York. A poor but proud farming county. Those games were loud and proud.

Any similar memories to share?
 
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Two that come to mind are the old hopkins street gym for hartford public and st thomas mores gym......both dark and right on top of the action
 
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Attending UMASS in 1969, I have fond memories of "The Cage" and even better memories of watching Julius Erving, Rick Pitino and Al Skinner. Packed sweaty gym with a dirt track surrounding the court and a leaky glass roof- those were the days!
 

KnightBridgeAZ

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No memories, but I have been to a lot of basketball arenas, mostly following Rutgers - over 70 of them. Some of them just ooze history - Palestra obviously, but others as well. Walsh at Seton Hall, McDonnough at Georgetown, etc. did have that vibe. And of course Cameron Indoor.

Others, like the current Villanova facility, the gym at Manhattan, Jadwin at Princeton ooze college spirit; Haas at Cal as well, I think, although we were only there once.

Places like Gampel, McKale here, and others are fine places to watch a game, often quite sentimental to the team whose home it is, but when you get right down to it, lack somewhat in amenities and real character.

And yes, a number of them ought to be replaced, but costs being what they are and the colleges in question not being huge powers, I don't expect it to happen.
 

cockhrnleghrn

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Attending UMASS in 1969, I have fond memories of "The Cage" and even better memories of watching Julius Erving, Rick Pitino and Al Skinner. Packed sweaty gym with a dirt track surrounding the court and a leaky glass roof- those were the days!

My sister-in-law attended UMASS undergrad at the same time you were there. She's always raved that Dr. J played for the Minutemen when she was in school. She then went to grad school at UCONN.
 
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So many small high school gyms in Fairfield County and Duchess County but the most vivid memories are Church gyms in Danbury in the late 30's and through the 40's including one where the ceiling was so low that it was impossible to make a shot behind the foul line
 
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My junior high school gym had an elevated running track above the floor which made shooting from the corners impossible. Even though visiting teams knew they couldn't shoot from there invariably one or more did and they got stuffed by the track. Great fun.
 
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My sister-in-law attended UMASS undergrad at the same time you were there. She's always raved that Dr. J played for the Minutemen when she was in school. She then went to grad school at UCONN.
Coincidentally, I went to grad school at UCONN as well...
 

Blakeon18

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The Cage at UMass when Jack Leaman was patrolling the sidelines....and the St. Thomas More bandbox gym... lakeside!
 

RockyMTblue2

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My junior high school gym had an elevated running track above the floor which made shooting from the corners impossible. Even though visiting teams knew they couldn't shoot from there invariably one or more did and they got stuffed by the track. Great fun.

The old Stamford Y gym had an elevated track too. Use to play lunchtime pick up games there with some really good and not so good players and a couple, three sorta dangerous kooks! Had a couple guys banned for their flaring tempers and flapping elbows which is a surprise to no one I'm sure. The corners didn't pose a physical obstacle but they could throw you off. More than 1 lunch got a little long!;)
 
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My high school gym in N.J. ( still being used by the junior high now) had backboards attached to the walls. They really didn't stick out that far from the wall. Out of bounds was basically the wall, and when you went in for a layup you had better go straight up. There were thin mats on the walls, but didn't help that much when you ran into them. And the ceiling was so low that it was quite impossible to get any arch on the shot. Definitely a home court advantage. Oh, and the floor was some kind of tile.
 
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So many small high school gyms in Fairfield County and Duchess County but the most vivid memories are Church gyms in Danbury in the late 30's and through the 40's including one where the ceiling was so low that it was impossible to make a shot behind the foul line

Yeah and into the 60s.....I played on a CYO team that played in a gym where a slightly above normal arc on your shot resulted in the shot hitting the ceiling and the ball was still in play. You could conceivably pass to yourself. Then there were gyms where the out of bounds line was the wall which resulted in a combination basketball and hockey. :)
 

huskeynut

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When in high school, one of our league opponents was Beacon High School, NY. Their court was an elementary school gym know as the "Dungeon." The bleachers were right up on the court. Not a lot of out-of-bounds room, even under the baskets. And Beacon was really good too. They were a Class C team that always beat the big AA teams.

BTY - their coach was a gentleman known as Richard Phelps. His father was a mortician/ funeral director in Beacon. During his high school years, as the story goes, he dug graves for his father. Hence his nickname we all know him by - Digger. Yes, the one and only Digger Phelps!
 

ChicagoGG

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The DePaul Gym at Alumni Hall hard by the El tracks in Chicago. Back in the day, that's where the Catholic High School basketball championships were held. If your school made it to that gym, your team was big time!
 

cockhrnleghrn

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Coincidentally, I went to grad school at UCONN as well...
You didn't major in Social Work, did you? :D

I know you're not her because she doesn't even have an email address.
 
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@ Lafayette (Easton,Pa) too many years ago to confess- our home court, Alumni Memorial Gymnasium, could easily be mistaken for the Hickory High gym in Milan- cramped, bare-bones no amenities, lousy lighting, noise reverberated so loudly that 100 fans in the stands (a sellout for us) sounded like a thousand... the best court idiosyncrasy was the many dead spots where, unless you were a Leopard and so you knew exactly where the 'deads" were (and you either avoided them or blasted your dribble), the ball would simply not bounce back up. A home court advantage to die for. [Hoosiers, along with The Natural, my 2 favorite sports movies]
 

Oldbones

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Our gym had such a low ceiling that a half-court shot or any other prayer shot needed to be a line drive. Tumbling mats that served as wall mats. And, of course, any spectator departure or arrival, except at halftime, made for a very noticeable squeezing between the "protective" wall mats and the end line.
 
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