Basketball on Black Fridays: the Alumni Scrimmage

The day after Thanksgiving was one of the best days of the year for this basketball coach.  No Black Fridays, and many of the family gatherings moved to the gym to watch basketball practice. The Friday after Thanksgiving was the first live look against someone other than teammates, the Alumni Scrimmage.  We did this at every school I coached and I think the players looked forward to it as much as the coaches.  Through the years our performance against alumni was often an indicator of how our season would go.  Though not a tried and true measure, it gave us a taste of what we might expect during the season opener the following week.

What an awesome opportunity to spend 20 or so “Black Fridays” with the team through the years.  For that I am Thankful!

Black Friday Basketball Trash Talk and Memory Board: Do you have a “Friday after Thanksgiving Alumni Scrimmage” memory? Please post a comment below if you’d like:

Here are a few:

1983 – I was an hour late for the scrimmage due to travel on icy roads, we didn’t have cell phones back then

1987 – a parent accosted me about playing time…in a scrimmage

1996 – players and alumni wouldn’t go home, scrimmaged around 5 hours

2001 – Brett Olson (alumni) scored 65 points in a high school length scrimmage

On being thankful…

Thanksgiving is a true American holiday, a great idea.  A day set aside to be thankful, a day apart from work, a day of family and football.   In church last Sunday, or next, we may hear a minister admonishing us to demonstrate thanksgiving year round.  This too, is a good idea.  Have you ever known someone who didn’t have a spirit of gratitude about anything?  Such a person is unfulfilled and devoid of any measure of joy or happiness. Gratitude is important, necessary, and required of us, even when we are experiencing tough times.  To me, one of the most difficult scriptures in the Bible to practice is  I Thessalonians 5:18, “In all circumstances give Thanks…”  Accepting that God is working out all things for our good (Romans 8:28) allows us to rest easy, even in the storms of life, and give thanks.  Easier said than done, right? “Father, this is a day you have made, therefore I will be glad…”

Excellent Read About Thanksgiving


5 thoughts on “Basketball on Black Fridays: the Alumni Scrimmage

  1. Gratitude is THE most important thing. We can find something to be thankful for in almost every situation. I, personally amid thankful for your belief in me.

  2. I remember Olson dropping 65 well. Still one of the most surreal performances I have seen in person. Just glad he was on my team that day; he was raining from everywhere. That was a high-scoring scrimmage as the score climbed well over 100. The high school team that year went on to take third at state so it wasn’t like he scoring against scrubs either.

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