Growing up in southern Minnesota I spent many March days listening to high school basketball tournaments with my dad. He was a sports fan with the Minnesota Twins being his all time favorite team but more than baseball, high school basketball tournaments were his passion.
Back then there wasn’t internet and tournament brackets weren’t a click away. He’d always buy a Minneapolis Star and Tribune the week before the games were scheduled. There would be the brackets along with run downs of the teams. He’d get out the big state map and show me where the teams were from telling me that this team was near the border, this team wasn’t far from us and this team was from the Iron Range. I loved this time of year. It likely ranks as favorite moments I’ve spent with my dad.
We would listen to the tournaments…first the girls and then the boys. I happily remember Janet Karvonen. I aspired to be here..but I didn’t have the perfect jump shot that she had. I happily remember Kevin McHale. He played in the tournaments..went on to play for the Minnesota gophers and then onto the Celtics. We listened to all of his games that were radio broadcast while we milked cows in the barn…but before he was really big time, it was those state basketball tournaments that lead us to know of him.
This year our little school made it to state tournaments….I find myself watching them as they continue on their way.
Monday they made it past the quarter round finals.
Thursday they play again.
It’s been fun to watch. One of the gals playing is an aunt to one of my childcare families. One of the girls playing was in my childcare a long time ago. She was a smart determined girl at four and she’s carried that right with her.
I’m lucky. I can watch on the internet…the brackets are just a mouse click away.
Sadly something is missing though….I miss my dad and the maps and background history of the little towns he always knew. I miss his excitement and enthusiasm. My dad even watched and got the information of all the teams that fell into the loosing brackets. He just loved this time of year.
For now…I’m watching the games and remembering my time with him. I’ll tune the game in on Thursday…and with any luck, they’ll win and play on Friday too!!
Go Turkey Valley!!