The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The rise of Panther Hoops

In 2001, former Bloomington South assistant principal turned Panther Hoops league commissioner Jay True used basketball as an incentive instead of disciplining a student who continually skipped classes.

“I just couldn’t get anything to reach, but I knew he liked to play basketball,” True said.

True added that he enjoyed playing basketball, so he presented the student with a challenge.

“I said, ‘Hey look, if you can beat me playing one-on-one, then I won’t make you go to Saturday school,’” True said.

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True and the student proceeded to head up to the gym to play during their lunch period. After an exhausting game, the period ended. The game ended in a tie.

A few students found out about the game and wanted to participate in playing pick-up games, as well. From there on out, every Friday, True would open up the gym and students would come play pick-up games with each other after eating.

True noticed a pattern, a large number of students regularly showing up to play in these games during lunch. True figured these students needed somewhere to play outside of lunch, therefore creating Panther Hoops as a result.

Panther Hoops is an intramural, co-ed basketball league for high school students who don’t play on their respective high school teams, but all share a passion for basketball.

The 2023 Panther Hoops season begins on Jan. 28, with teams playing on Thursday and Saturday nights. Game start times range from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and typically, teams play around eight games before starting the tournament: single-elimination match-ups played to determine the season’s Panther Hoops champion.

Panther Hoops teams can include not only Bloomington South students, but interested students from Bloomington North and Edgewood. If you are a student interested in playing, get a group of 10 friends together, and assign a captain to attend the captains’ meeting. The meeting will take place on Friday Dec. 8, 2023 in the Large Group Room during Panther Plus. If you are interested in playing but do not have a team to play with, you can sign-up on Mr. Carver’s door in the Main Office.

According to True, Panther Hoops is a great opportunity for students to form and strengthen relationships.

“A lot of kids go to high school and they never fit in anywhere. They don’t have a club, they don’t have a team, they just go to school and go home. Now, [after getting involved in Panther Hoops] they [have] buddies to sit with at lunch, and they’re connected to the school,” True said.

 

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