Home » Recreation and Sports » Baseball

The Braves make the NBA Playoffs ho-hum

Jul 3, 2008
The Braves make the NBA Playoffs nothing to me.

Boring and commercialized beyond belief. The fact that our own Phoenix Suns have been eliminated because they couldn't play defense...

Well, they all should have learned from the Phoenix Indian School Braves.

At the property that is now Indian School Steele Park, northeast of the intersection of east Indian School Road and north Central Avenue, was the Phoenix Indian School.

Now I know the name of the park is the Steele Indian School Park, but to those of us who were once part of the Phoenix Indian School, it is, we think, Stolen Indian School Park but that's a whole different story.

The property of the Phoenix Indian School was once much larger than the 75 acres sold off by the federal government another promise broken to Indian people, of course, to private commercial interests with the proviso that they remand a certain portion of the land sale for a public park.

But this is about the Phoenix Indian School Braves, and not politics.
(Now, for those who are recoiling in horror that I use here the name Braves because the name is not now politically correct, I dee-double dare you to walk up to an old graduate of the Indian School and tell them that the name Braves is, these days, an impolite pejorative, and should not be a part of the contemporary vocabulary. I suspect you will come away, at least, with a moderate-to-devastating bawling out, or, at the most, a punch in the nose.)

Because the Braves were our team. Oh, now I know I didn't attend the school. But Dad was an employee of the school, at various times, the head basketball coach, sponsor of the Indian Club and teacher, and most recently, the librarian.

But I was a campus brat, the child of Indian School employees who lived on campus. We participated at the periphery of student life and smack-dab in the middle of faculty and staff life.

We the students, the faculty, staff and brats were the supporters, athletic (You've heard the joke) and otherwise of the teams. Our teams.

Now our football team after the 1930's and 40's weren't so much to brag about. Before then, we were a power to be reckoned with. We played much teams from much bigger schools including the Phoenix Union Coyotes, the Tempe Normal Bulldogs (which later became Arizona State College at Tempe, and still later, Arizona State Univerity of VOTE YES ON 200 fame.)

Our Braves once also called the Redskins regularly beat these teams. One story told by the late M.R. Bill Hagerty, history teacher at Phoenix North High, was that, one year in the Thanksgiving game, the Phoenix Union team was sweeping the end, the ball being carried by a large boy who later became a judge in our state. One of our boys, whose name is now unremembered, was throwing aside their choice of designations, now our blockers and interference men, until he came to the ball carrier. Our lineman reached over and picked up the ball carrier and simply stood there with him, holding him like the back was a baby, until one of the officials decided to end the play.

Do you remember that, Your Honor? Mr. Hagerty asked.
How could you forget? the judge, smiling, said.
But, then the Arizona Interscholastic Association came up with a plan and a deadly device that affected all Arizona high schools, but probably the Indian school more than the others.

This dirty little device was called the birth certificate.
It may have been okay with the Lord for 20 and 30 -year-old guys to play high school football, but apparently not with the AIA.

So, afterward, our football teams were regularly beaten by other schools, but not our basketball teams.
Ah, yes. Our basketball teams.
They were the run-and-shoot Braves decades before the NBA caught the concept.

Our game would have made Hank Iba and ol' Coach Wooden run screaming in terror into the night.
The names of the run 'n' shooters are legendary among Indian School old timers: Chico and Edison Johnson and Arnold Bilagody and Roy Calnimptewa and . . . and Joel Querta . . . and . . . and . . . so many others.

Especially in the years of Coach Joe-Joe Famulette. Our tactics were simple: Run and shoot the ball, steal and shoot the ball, run and shoot the ball, steal and shoot the ball.

Our strategy was similar: Run and shoot the ball, steal and shoot the ball. Call a quick time out, run back on the floor before the other team. Run and shoot the ball.

Get the idea?
In these days of so-called power players, our guys could've run Kobe Bryant and his expensive shoes into the floor. He would have to call a lot shoestring-tying time outs. And maybe our Phoenix Suns would beat them soundly, but the Braves would have had their fun. Our Dan Majerle would be able to keep up with them, but I have to wonder about the rest of them.

In the days before they built the new gym, attending a Phoenix Indian School home game could a dangerous but always an exhilarating experience. The gym was an old WPA project, put together from concrete, block and mortar and cold water in the showers. The seats were painted planks set atop about 12 tiers of concrete set around the interior of the gym.

After World War II, the gym was painted the same battleship gray of the fleet, leading to speculation that the school got a special deal on the surplus after the Navy finished painting the Missouri and the Hornet and the Midway.

A former sports writer for our local rag, Jim Dobkins, once noted the floor was so small, and the space so tiny between the court lines and the first row of spectators, that you might accidentally find yourself in the game if things got wild.

Well, there are those who I am certain believe I speak in hyperbole.
But in my mind, when I dream, the perfect basketball game takes place in a battleship gray gymnasium where the roar of the crowd bounces off block walls and steel rafters and the Braves are the good guys.
About the Author
Jim Porter lives in Phoenix Arizona and is the Official Resident Blogger for http://phoenix.residentblogger.com
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 257
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources