This year’s intramural basketball season has come to an end, leaving the losing floors with regret and the winning floors with a year’s worth of bragging rights.
In Men’s A League competition, Youngblood defeated the alumni team, winning its third straight basketball title.
G-Rock was victorious in B+ competition and went on to play in the A League playoffs but lost in the first round. In B League competition, Flint beat G-Rock’s B team. In C League competition, Full Armor beat Republic.
The various leagues provide different levels of competition, but each league is equally intense.
The games consist of hard fouls, quick crossovers, smooth fade-away jump shots, and the occasional rebellious player who decides to dunk despite the 5 minute penalty.
Every appealing quality of basketball is seen in ORU intramurals, even rivalries. Just as the NBA has the Celtics vs. Lakers, college basketball has Duke vs. North Carolina and Oklahoma basketball has Union vs. Jenks, ORU Intramurals has Youngblood vs. Republic.
These two floors might not always be the most talented teams, but the games between the two are always a fight to the death.
“It’s gotten to the point where people genuinely hate each other when playing,” said Cole Proffitt, a Republic resident.
Practically every game between Youngblood and Republic is an instant classic filled with jaw-dropping plays and thrilling finishes. This year in the playoffs, Youngblood beat Republic by two points in overtime.
“No one wants to lose because those experiences live throughout the year,” said Student Director of Intramurals Jason Ketchum, who also lives on Republic.
Despite the enthusiasm seen among male students, the Intramural staff has struggled to get female students to participate.
“We have had trouble forever getting girls to sign up and quite honestly we don’t know what to do,” said Ketchum.
So few girls played intramural basketball this year that there was only one league. In most cases, floors combined teams to fill the roster.
Standard and Quest came together this year to win the championship.
The staff tried implementing prizes to appeal to female students, but the budget for this was lacking.
Girls are not the only students lacking involvement.Towers students aren’t as excited about intramurals as EMR students.
The floor leading in overall points in EMR is nearly 100 points ahead of the leading floor in Towers. Ketchum believes that the main reason for this disparity in points is because floors in EMR are set up as more of a community than floors in Towers.
Ketchum, who once lived in Towers, recalls having wingmates whose names he didn’t even know.
“Here in EMR I know everybody on my floor, and it’s much easier to form a team,” he said.
Despite the lack of participation in Towers, the students who play in Towers are just as talented as the students in EMR. In fact, in the annual Towers vs. EMR All-Star game on Feb. 21, Towers defeated EMR 97-93. The game was filled with gifted athletes, many of whom were high school stars in their own right.
Michael Fletch of EMR played for ORU’s men’s team his freshman and sophomore years and had 33 points in the all-star game.
Benjamin Daniels of Towers was a high school star in his hometown of Chicago and was named MVP of the all-star game after scoring 24 points.
However, the all-star game was not limited to the stereotypical athlete; the game had an eclectic range of participants.
Seth Silvers, the former leader of the campus Prayer Movement, scored 12 points in the game.
The game was also officiated by International Worship Center leader Wayne Lee and Dominic Halsmer, the dean of the College of Science and Engineering. The all-star game was reflective of the entire year in basketball intramurals.
No matter the outcome of a floor’s season, most students would agree that intramurals have served a valuable purpose in their college experience, whether giving opportunities to relive the glory days of high school athletics or by simply taking their minds off of their schoolwork.
By Nathan Porter
The Oracle Sports Editor is Amy Lecza.