Essay Basketball History

Essay Basketball History-53
The popularity of these events now allows the IHSA to provide more than just good entertainment for its fans.

The popularity of these events now allows the IHSA to provide more than just good entertainment for its fans.

It's a condition called "March Madness," and it afflicts millions of people with no known cure. A field of teams known as the "Sweet Sixteen" routinely drew sellout crowds to the University of Illinois' Huff Gymnasium.

In a time before television, before the college game became popular with the average fan, before professional leagues had established a foothold in the nation's large cities, basketball fever had already reached epidemic proportions in the Land of Lincoln. Porter, assistant executive secretary of the Illinois High School Association, was so impressed by the phenomenon that he wrote an essay to commemorate it.

Entitled "March Madness," it first appeared in the the IHSA's magazine, in 1939.

The term struck a chord with newspapermen, who used it throughout their pages.

He berates the center for attempting a long shot and lauds him when it goes in the basket. The thud of the ball on the floor, the slap of hands on leather, the swish of the net are music in his ears. The gym lights gleam like a beacon beam And a million motors hum In a good will flight on a Friday night; For basketball beckons, "Come! The colors clash as silk suits flash And race on a shimmering floor.

He is a connoisseur in matters pertaining to team coordination and artistry in action. Repressions die, and partisans vie In a goal acclaiming roar.In everyday life he is a sane and serious individual trying to earn enough to pay his taxes.But he does a Jekyll-Hyde act when the spell is on him.During the tournament's "Golden Era" of the 1940's and 1950's, "March Madness" became the popular name of the event.It was an era of some of Illinois' most legendary teams, including the undefeated 1944 Taylorville squad and Mt. But the one champion remembered more than any other is tiny Hebron, a school of only 98 students, which won the tournament in 1952.Every year, as winter wanes, a curious ailment spreads across the country.The thump of basketballs, the squeak of sneakers, and the roar of the crowd are sure signals that basketball fever is with us. The annual tournament of high school boys basketball teams, sponsored by the Illinois High School Association, grew from a small invitational affair in 1908 to a statewide institution with over 900 schools competing by the late 1930's.Soon thereafter the nation was plunged into World War II.The drama of March Madness provided a unifying force that brought the entire state together, and Porter again commemorated the event, this time with a poem, "Basketball Ides of March," which appeared in the Homo of the Hardwood Court is a hardy specie. He exists through summer and fall, shows signs of animation through the winter and lives to the utmost during March when a hundred thousand pairs of rubber soled shoes slap the hardwood in a whirlwind of stops and pivots and dashes on the trail to the state basketball championships. When the March madness is on him, midnight jaunts of a hundred miles on successive nights make him even more alert the next day."The Happening," a thrilling contest featuring the state's best three-point shooters, is now a part of these tournaments as well.And starting in 1996, the "March Madness Experience," an exhibition hall full of fun, games, and good times, has allowed fans of Illinois high school basketball to join in the action.


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