Behind the Mic, Featured, Sports

Behind the Mic: How Do They Get So Good?

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At this time of the year only the best basketball teams, whether it be high school or college, are still playing. We have, indeed, begun March Madness. The yearly event draws its name from the frantic race to decide the various league, conference, district, state, and national championships. As we watch the teams, we are equally thrilled by the play of outstanding individuals. I mean, good teams are made up of good players.

We have certainly had our share of outstanding individuals this season on RCN TV. To name just a few, Central Catholic’s Muhammad Ali Abur-Rahkman has scored over 2,000 points as he winds down his high school career; Bethlehem Catholic’s Kalista Walters has over 1,600 points and will probably break the school record shortly; Lafayette’s Seth Hindricks went over 1,000 points this season, missed 10 games and is only a junior! And now that we are in the state playoffs, I get to see teams that have one or two individuals who are just ridiculously skilled.

If you are anything like me, you must wonder, “How did they get so good?”

A New York City tourist once asked the famous question: “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The answer given became equally as famous, “Practice, practice, practice!”

I would guess the answer would be the same for an outstanding basketball player. It’s practice! How many hours of work have they put in; how many shots have they taken; how many laps and suicides have they run; how many foul shots have they practiced; how many rebounding, dribbling, passing drills have they been through? How many days and years have they devoted to be the best they can be?

The answer is best exemplified by a young player driven to be not just good, but outstanding. Let me introduce you to Jordan McCabe. Take a moment and watch his YouTube video:

Jordan McCabe will be a great player some day. He can’t miss. He learned early on that he had a passion for basketball and he wanted to be the best that he could be. He knows the formula for success – “Practice, practice, practice!”

1. You probably missed the irony of Ryan Braun’s return to baseball. Braun, if you are unfamiliar with the name, plays for the Milwaukee Brewers, was the 2011 MVP, and was suspended for 65 games last season for violating MLB’s anti-drug agreement. In the spring opener this month, while a fan was yelling, “MVP-ED” (for Performance Enhancing Drugs), he stepped to the plate and hit an 0-1 pitch over the wall, 345 feet away. Go figure!

2. Is this road rage? If you smash your own car in a fit of anger, are you guilty of anything other than stupidity? Richie Incognito, of Miami Dolphins bullying infamy, took a bat to his $300,000 Ferrari, smashing the hood and the grill. The police said there was no crime because there was no victim. Mr. Incognito would not press charges against himself. Go figure!

3. It sure looked like a certainty a few years back that Tiger Woods would break Jack Nicklaus’ record for majors won. Jack has 18; Tiger-14. Not so certain anymore. Tiger is 37 years old and in the last 50 years no one over 37 has won five majors. The competition each week is now stiffer than at any other time in history. He is not in great shape physically – a reconstructed knee, a bad ankle, and, now, a back that can cause him problems every time he plays. Now, the odds seem to be against him. Go figure!

4. I went to the Demi Lovato concert in the Lehigh Valley last Thursday night (don’t ask!). At 4:30 when I arrived for dinner, there was a line, at least the length of a football field, of young teenage girls waiting for the doors to open at 7:00. To make a long story short (again, no questions), the show started at 7:30 with a DJ, a magician, a soloist, more DJ, more magician, a girl-group, and more magician. Demi Lovato came on at 10:00 (that’s right – 2 ½ hours after the show started)! I left after one and a half songs! Three hours of my life I will not get back. Go figure!

5. Six Lehigh Valley teams are still alive in the state basketball playoffs, as I am writing this – two boys’ teams and four girls’ teams. Take the road trips with us to Pottsville, Reading, Souderton, Hazleton, and wherever else we may travel.