Competition always played a big role in the athletics at Bellevue West, but students can play recreationally as well. Intramural basketball gives students a way to shoot hoops and let off some steam.
“The purpose of intramural basketball is to have a competitive league for students that still want to play basketball, who don’t play for the school,” skilled and technical sciences teacher Joe Nadgwick said.
Nadgwick sponsors the intramural basketball program, which gives the students a way to play basketball with little pressure from a coach.
“It’s a stress-free way to play basketball with your friends. The competition between players is still high, but it’s not nearly as physically and mentally demanding as school ball,” senior Tim Messina said.
The intramural teams are self-coached, with a minimum of three people on each team. Students are required to get their own team together.
“It really let’s people have fun with their friends,” sophomore Christian Dumont said.
Bellevue West isn’t the only school that is involved with intramural basketball.
“Bellevue East has an intramural team as well as most other schools. We have a championship game at the end of the year. It’s five on five with refs and we play Bellevue East,” Nadgwick said.
Unlike the annual West vs East basketball game, this championship game doesn’t call for major preparation, and holds a different purpose. The purpose of the game is to have friendly competition while having fun.
“There aren’t practices unless you organize them yourself. We generally just play other teams from school the whole time since it’s only once a week,” Messina said.
There is a significant difference between school and intramural basketball. Intramural basketball doesn’t require as much physical and mental preparation.
“For school ball, it’s physically demanding having practice at least five days a week, as well as occasional morning shooting. In terms of mentally, its tough trying to memorize all of the plays on offense and schemes on defense,” Messina said. “Plus, finding time for homework can be stressful when you have practice every school day.”
Some students use intramural basketball as a way to work on skills, without the pressures of an ordinary practice.
“It’s beneficial because it could help people develop stronger skills,” Dumont said.
Intramural basketball starts in January and runs for ten weeks. Most practices are held at the Lied Center.
“Students still love the game of basketball and still want to play competitively, but there is only a certain amount of spots available at the school. A lot of students just like to play recreationally,” Nadgwick said.
Intramurals gives students the chance to play a game they enjoy, in a stress free way.
“It’s beneficial to students because it’s a stress reliever right in the middle of the week, it’s fun as heck, and it’s healthy for you,” Messina said.