“Thanks so much to all of you for showing up on such short notice. After watching you know who last night score 118 points, I needed a meeting, needed some perspective. I had nightmares about Zion Williamson dunking my head through a hoop of fire.
”Oh yeah, I’m Seedy K and I’m a hoopaholic.
”I mean early in the evening, I was so afraid of what the election results might be, that I actually watched Kansas/ Michigan State with Dick Vitale and the sound on. I know, right, that’s pretty sick.
”Then later, after watching what Duke was doing to Kentucky, I was so afraid that the season was already over, I actually had to switch channels and watch Steve Kornacki, the Ken Pomeroy of elections, break down house races precinct by precinct. I know, right, pretty sick.
”But, I mean, it was like a relapse back to the days when UCLA never lost. I watched Duke and got sick to my stomach. Is the season already over? Can anybody here provide some experience, strength and hope?”
”Hello, my name is Jeremiah, and I’m a hoopaholic.
”We’re a spiritually based support group. We each choose our own higher power, right? I choose to call mine Naismithius.
”I apologize, because we’re not supposed to bring in outside stuff. But, the Kabbalah is this eccentric strain of Judaism, mystical. And that system believes that Zion is this sort of spiritual epicenter. And that all reality comes from there.
”As I watched the game last night. I couldn’t help but wonder if the debut of Zion Williamson isn’t some sort of harbinger of the apocalypse of college basketball. Will it ever be the same? First there was that FBI stuff and the trial. Now the coming of Zion, wearing the jersey of the Evil Empire no less. What does it all mean? How are we supposed to deal with it?”
”Thanks Jeremiah. Anybody else want to share?”
”Hi, my name is Jay and I’m a hoopaholic.
”Hey, it’s one day at a time, that’s our guidepost, correct? Last night was the first night of the season. It’s November 7, for heaven’s sake. One game. Let’s everybody take a deep breath. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not the end of the season. Calm down. There’s plenty of hoops left to be played. And I’ll be there courtside to tell you what it means.”
”Yo, we got Ohio State against Cincy tonight. It’s been decades . . .”
”Hold on, Oscar, wait your turn. We’ve asked you before not to butt in. Next.”
”Yeah, My name’s Billy Jim, and I’m a hoopaholic. You guys know I bleed Big Blue. I named my boys Adolph and Beasman. My little girl’s name is Cotton. Some of you may be too young to know where that came from. Anyway, when I was watching the game, I kept thinkin’ if Li’l Richie was still playing, the Cats would have won.”
”Uh, thanks, BJ, keep coming back. Remember, we take what we need and leave the rest. Anybody else want to share?”
”Yes, can I share now? My name is Oscar, and I’m a hoopaholic. My suggestion is to just tune in tonight to watch the Buckeyes and Bearcats play in the regular season for the first time since 1921. Those guys in Columbus never got over my Bearcats beating Lucas and Havlicek in two straight national championship games in the 60s.
”They finally scheduled a game for this year’s opener. And it’s in the Queen City. It’s gonna be great. And Zion free. It’s what college hoops is all about.”
”Thanks, Oscar, you’ve given me pause, a calmer point of view. My serenity is back. Thanks for sharing.
”We’ll meet again soon. Who wants to close the meeting in the traditional way, reading Naismith’s Original 13 Rules of Basketball?”