Rec ball fulfills amateur hoop dreams


Photo by Timmy Ryan

Champs: Ian Schuller (12) puts up a shot for The Comebacks against team Eric Baugh Select.

Adam Yeo, A&E Editor

Last Thursday four basketball teams set foot in the Downers Grove Recreational Center to determine who will be crowned rec league champions. The Wetters, The Comebacks, DC Supremacy and team Eric Baugh Select played their semi-finals and championship where The Comebacks were declared champions. Though it’s not as cut throat as varsity basketball or March Madness, this title is worth so much more than meets the eye.varsity basketball, the rec league leaves a tremendous impact on everyone involved.

“It’s my favorite part of the week. I love game day, I’ve never really been a part of something like this so it’s awesome to go out there and see the fans and just play with my friends,” senior Josh Knutson, member of  the Comebacks said.

Most players and teams don’t even know what to expect when they sign up for their first season, but the experience has brought nothing but excitement to all it’s participants. 

“It was just a stupid thing, we were like ‘hey wanna play basketball together?’,” freshman Dominic West, member of the Celtics said. This is West’s first season at the park district and he’s already fallen in love with it. “It’s awesome just being able to play with my buddies and being able to shoot around, I mean I love it, I love the atmosphere,” West said.

Many don’t see what makes it so captivating from the outside looking in.

“It’s the perfect blend of competitiveness and also light hearted-ness, you know we go out there we have a ton of fun, some of the games end up really crazy but we still go out there and compete really hard and they get exciting,” Knutson said.

Most teams have even gone as far as to create social media profiles where they keep their so-called fans updated on scores, schedules, and even power rankings. Though this information usually can be obtained just by word of mouth, the deeper into the season the more talk and interest is generated.

“That’s like the big talk every week, we talk about the power rankings, we talk about the standings, we talk about our next matchup, obviously it’s competitive, so we’re always trash talking and that sorta thing so it’s a lot of fun,” senior player for the Raw Dawgs Dylan Wendt said.

In the heat of all the competition, the most entertaining part to watch is the rivalries. Teams have a brutal (but fun loving) back and forth in school, on social media and even on the court.

“Even though it’s rec league you still wanna win games and there’s a lot of rivalries in the league, especially between us and the Raw Dawgs, hate those guys” junior player for the Wetters Micheal Gates said.

There are very few feelings more rewarding than that of victory, but the beauty here is that it’s just for the park district and a loss isn’t the end of the world.

“Even though it’s competitive it’s not like there is some sort of big prize, you just wanna go out there, do the best you can,” senior for the Green Releases Joey Nehls said.

If losing has any impact, it just makes the players even more tenacious in the following week. 

“Losing just motivates you for that next game. You gotta get that game back so you can move up in the standings, it’s a lot of motivation,” Wendt said.

Rec league creates a competitive, fun atmosphere that simply changes the players’ attitudes coming into the entire week, and is a completely irreplaceable experience.

“I think Thursday is one of my favorite days of the week just because I look forward to playing basketball,” Gates said.

Over the past couple of years, rec league basketball has regained its popularity throughout teenagers in highschool, bringing the fun atmosphere with them.