An elderly man shuffles to the far wall in an dark, old, musty gymnasium. His left leg drags a bit as he walks. He clears his throat, and it echoes off the concrete walls. The air smells of damp leather and hardwood with a tinge of salt and mineral spirits. He raises a crackled, brown hand to the light switch panel. He flips the first switch. High-above bulbs flicker, and a low hum commences. The purplish twilight of the bulbs casts a pale, lavender, dim moonglow on the empty hardwood hall. The elderly man licks his lips, while he slowly and deliberately flips the second, third, and fourth switches, each one awakening a sound akin to a small hive of bees.
Over the next five minutes, the gymnasium lights gradually brighten like a glorious sunrise, eventually making the gym an empty, radiant sanctuary awaiting its priests, prophets, and congregants. The old man smiles a Chesire-cat smile in the warmth of the new luminosity. Soon, the first leather sphere will be cradled in knowing hands like a newborn babe. It will bounce on the waxy floor and shatter the vacuous silence, and then be launched toward a hoop that has held its waiting mouth open for a seemingly everlasting off-season.
The silence has been broken. It is time for basketball.
Coming soon (before November 3):
Early season event roundup
Sun Belt Preview