Join the discussion.

Inklings News

Join the discussion.

Inklings News

Join the discussion.

Inklings News

In Rec Basketball, Competition Meets Camaraderie


When the word comes to mind, the immediate thought is of Lebron James flying through the air for an electrifying slam dunk, Magic Johnson lighting up the court with his jaw-dropping, flashy passes, Shaquille O’Neal physically dominating opposing defenders, or just the name Michael Jordan.

On a more local level, the thought of Staples Wreckers boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams playing pretty much every Tuesday and Friday night during the winter comes to mind.

While all of the Staples teams are exciting and fun to watch, the sport that really captures the essence of the winter months is Westport Parks and Recreation’s Youth Basketball, better known as “Rec Basketball”.

Some students, such as Emily Centinaro ’15, don’t know too much about Rec Basketball.

The only time I heard about it was on the Good Morning Show,” Centinaro said.

But Joey Schulman ’14 claims, “You’d have to be living under a rock to not know anything about Rec.”

Rec Basketball has become a phenomenon here at Staples High School for all four grade levels. Students anticipate their upcoming season for the entire Fall and then, throughout the Winter, Rec Basketball becomes priority number one for many. But why does everybody who plays Rec adore it so much?

Jack Roof ’13 is an Administrator of the 2012-2013 Westport Recreational Basketball Upperclassmen group on Facebook.

expressed his reasons for loving Rec: “Rec isn’t really basketball,” Roof said. “It’s a bunch of goofballs who care more about looking good then playing good. Nevertheless, each and every season is one hell of a ride.”

Essentially, Rec Basketball gives kids who simply do not have the time, commitment level, or skill to play basketball at the Varsity level a chance to play a sport they love.

We play because balling is in our DNA; we were born to play,” Lance Lonergan ‘13 said when expressing his feelings on Rec Basketball. Grayson Weir ‘14 echoed Lonergan’s sentiments, saying, “As the great Rasheed Wallace once said, ‘Ball don’t lie because ball is life.’”

While the players’ love for Basketball is obvious, there is no love lost between competitors in this league. “The best part about Rec is the buildup–and then almost everybody is awful. Especially Lance [Lonergan],” Quinn Mendelson ‘13 said. “Lance is absolutely awful.” Lonergan responded by saying, “Quinn is irrelevant. A non-factor. Un-athletic scrub. I’m embarrassed to even step foot on the same court.” This is typical of the type of “smack-talk” that happens on the floor, off the floor, or in the notorious Facebook group.

The smack talk is just part of the sport, and it is one of the major differences between Rec and real, organized varsity basketball. This type of talk is essential, but on any other Staples sports team, it would not be tolerated nearly as much.

Alex Addessi ‘13 is a starter on the Staples Varsity team this season, but he spent his first two years of high school playing at the Rec level. Addessi illustrates the major differences between Rec and varsity.

I like playing for the Staples team because the competition is better and I get to play basketball all week,” Addessi said. “I do miss playing against kids I know from our school though.”

While Addessi claims that the competition is better, it is widely believed in Rec basketball circles that a Rec All-Star team could give Staples a good game.

The best part of Rec is knowing that our All-Star team could beat the Staples team any day of the week,” Lonergan said. This is one of the beliefs that ties in with the overall “cockiness” of Rec legends.

One other major difference that Addessi pointed out is the league Facebook groups.

The group makes it so that people have an organized place to trash talk each other and get information about what time games are,” Roof said.

The group makes up the league hype,” said Lonergan.

The group serves multiple purposes and is certainly one of the staples of Rec basketball.

Rec Basketball matters as much, if not more than, Staples Wreckers basketball games to many students. It’s a fun, relaxed, and different way of playing basketball in which everyone can find something to enjoy.

For Patrick Connolly ’13, a player who took a year off from Rec during his junior year, finds joy in watching the comedic struggles of Alec Yass.

Watching [teammate] Alec Yass go 1-27 from three-point range is hilarious,” Connolly said.

Lonergan put it best: “Rec gives everyone the chance to play and have a good time, even for kids like Alec Yass,” he said. “Rec is elite.”


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Inklings News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *