New to Basketball? So Was I!

Kutztown has so much in the way of cultural activities, shopping, recreation and entertainment that I hardly ever gave a thought to sports. I know the University of Pennsylvania has a team on a par with many colleges around the country. People get pretty excited about the basketball playoffs in particular. I feel that I must be missing something, but how does one get started become a fan and spectator. I know nothing at all. People at work talk about it so it’s a good place to begin. As a student, I did see a few games during my time pursuing my studies, but it was only about school loyalty and nothing more. I did it to be social.

Now I think I want to get into local basketball a bit more. It will be another fun thing to do with friends. I know that I am not the only novice around when it comes to this great American sport, so here I go delving into a new area. There is so much to learn, first the basic rules and plays of the game, and then the forte of our particular university players. Who is who, for example, and who is expected to move on to the big time. I assume there are professional level players every year. I know it is all about recruitment and I have heard about scandals in football. I think our reputation is squeaky clean.

The Kutztown basketball team I want to follow are the Penn Quakers. They had their best showing in 1966 to 2007—that’s a pretty long time. Let’s see them come back to top tier in their division called the Big Five. Temple, LaSalle, St. Joseph’s, and Villanova are all arch rivals. See how much I know already? If you are new to basketball you may want to know more generalities, apart from the sports excitement in my town. Here’s a cheat sheet for you, but if you want to learn more then you should go check visit Baller’s Guide.

A basketball team (consisting of twelve players) earns points by shooting the ball into the basket or hoop on their side of the court. It has a three-point line, and any shots from outside it earn three points. Two points are gained from valid shots from inside the line.

A college or professional hoop is ten feet off the ground.

If a foul occurs, a free throw is allowed and there may be a change of possession of the ball to the other team. There are also backcourt violations. For example, after a basket or rebound, a player holding the ball must not possess it for more than ten seconds (eight for the NBA).

Technique of dribbling is the manner in which a player moves the ball across the court. A player must use only one hand or he will incur a “double dribble” violation. He must also take a requisite number of steps, not more as he “travels.”

Illegal contact is another violation that involves pushing, hitting, or holding another player.

Wow. There is so much more but I am out of space and time. I hope this gets you a bit excited about enjoying this active and dynamic team sport.