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Letter to the Editor: BRHS senior says, ‘Thank you, BABL’

As a senior in high school, I’ve been having a lot of nostalgic moments lately: memories of street fairs and Cranberry festivals, images of fallen leaves on the streets of Bordentown City, and even the smell of the grass at Spring Street’s little league field. But there is still one thing that is clearer to me than any other: BABL.

From the Mini-ball days of six year olds running around aimlessly in Carslake gym to the Majors, where late middle school and early high school teens battle it out in the gritty, early morning Macfarland games, the Bordentown Area Basketball league will always have a place in my heart. It is here where true love of the game lives. No fame, no fortune, no stitched uniforms, no newspaper articles or stat reports; just ten kids, colored T-shirts, two coaches, two referees and a couple parents keeping the score and the clock.

And that’s all we need. Sure, some spectators make the game interesting but we’ve all had those games where the bleachers are pretty much empty, except for the either extremely enthusiastic or extremely tired parents. Nevertheless we play. Nine AM game on a Saturday morning AND there’s three inches of snow on the ground? We play. Three teammates won’t be there due to orthodontist appointments? We play. Nobody volunteers to coach…? We don’t play. Simple as that.

Everyone who has played in BABL has loved the game, but without the support and guidance from every single volunteer, we would not know the joy that the game can bring. I owe my passion for basketball to every single coach who has ever volunteered in BABL. The lessons that I have learned, whether basketball oriented or not, were all taught to me by ordinary people who were extraordinary coaches. These volunteers truly care and it means everything to the players. And not just the coaches—all of the custodians who keep the gyms in nice condition just so we can play deserve all of our gratitude. Without them there would be no league in the first place.

Competition gets very heated when it comes to playoff BABL games. At school, previous games and upcoming match ups become the talk of the cafeteria. Friends on different teams watch each other closely as tensions build all leading toward those Saturday mornings. Those Saturday mornings continue to teach us all lessons every day, whether it is remembering how to fail with grace or humbly win. If true success of sport is measured in enjoyment, entertainment, and competition, BABL has it all.

Grant Hill
Bordentown City