To the typical intramural team, the words practice and training camp might as well be in Swahili. Nathan Hansen, a Junior Criminal Justice major and established UVU Intramural basketball player, had this to say concerning practice.
“We don’t need practice,” Hansen said. “We all spent two years together playin’ ball in Miami and we’d take on (and beat) all comers.
I’m of the Allen Iverson school of thought. It’s all about the games, baby.”
Was Hansen referring to his time as a college player at Miami University, or even Miami Dade College?
The answer is neither. Hansen and the rest of his team, dubbed FFLM (Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission), spent two years of their lives as Mormon missionaries in Southern Florida.
Basketball was an occasional treat for them, a way for them to relieve stress amidst their busy schedule. But now basketball is serious business.
The nine members of FFLM have varying degrees of basketball experience, but they are united in their purpose to win every game.
Unfortunately for FFLM, their long winning streak in Miami didn’t translate to the intramural courts.
In the UVU Intramural opener, they were pitted against the deceptively named Benchwarmers.
FFLM started the game in a 2-3 zone and the Benchwarmers laid down a barrage of three-pointers, opening a large lead in the first half of play.
For FFLM, the lack of practice time showed.
Their offense was stagnant and their defense was repeatedly torched by the backcourt of the Benchwarmers.
Visions of an undefeated season quickly vanished as the final score tallied 68 for the Benchwarmers and 47 for FFLM.
Intramural sports provide an outlet of fun for the everyday drudgery that school at times can be; the competitive juices flow, tempers rise, elbows are thrown and ultimately a champion is crowned. Regardless of one’s talent level, anyone may participate and enjoy a semi-organized game of basketball.
As for FFLM, they will continue to play on despite the loss and hope for a high seed in the post-season tournament. Since the team is comprised of their returned missionary pals, Hansen is hoping to continue to pluck from the talent pool recently returning home from the mission. He has been heavily recruiting former Miami missionary Jordan Bachynski, who is a 7- 2 sophomore center for the Arizona State Sun Devils.
“We really could use a guy like Jordan (Bachynski),” Hansen said. “He needs to prioritize and focus on the important things in life, such as intramural basketball. I know he is involved with his little team down in Phoenix, but we probably could use the help more.”
Intramural basketball games are held Tuesday and Wednesday nights. For more information on intramural sports, see their office in the Student Center (SC 108H).
By Travis Leavitt