Tag Archives: Basketball

Big Fish

It’s that time of the year again, where my good mate and I suit up for another unpredictable season of coaching high school basketball.  I love every aspect of coaching, sizing up each player, formulating a game plan, character building, and of course the wins.

For some reason I felt a bit different about this upcoming season, maybe it’s because it will be my 5th season as a coach, maybe because I’ve been around basketball for so much of my life.  I couldn’t quite grasp what the nagging in the back of my mind was.  So as any person would do, I went in search for some much needed inspiration, and what better place to find it than in a small time Division III school near Pittsburgh, La Roche College.

The story of Scott Lang, youngest NCAA basketball coach, who recruited players based on character rather than talent and was 100% dedicated to his team and community reads like a tragic tale.  Up until he was the age of 41, he had goals of his team taking part in the NCAA tournament.  In that final season he would say “This is the team to do it, we’ve never had this group of young men together before”.

On the court is where he lived, and on the court is where he died.  Midway through practice, Scott Lang suffered a heart attack center court and passed away.  Later that night when players were told the terrible news, they mourned in a way that would have made coach proud.  Some sat on the bleachers, others took to the court, shooting, reminiscing, trading stories and remembering the legacy.  La Roche Redhawks continued to win the rest of the season, the tournament, and was invited to take part in the NCAA Div III tournament.

Because of coach, this was a team who loved each and everyone with a La Roche jersey, these boys were willing to defend together, suffer together, and play together with and through the spirit of Scott Lang.

Me? I didn’t know him personally, but if I can be half the man he was when I step on the court with my team, then it’s going to be a great season.

Read more about Scott Lang here.


70-200mm, why I have one

When I first bought my digital SLR (Canon 400D), I asked the guys I worked with at camera house which lenses I should get with it.  Both of them mentioned the Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS, at that time all I saw was:
– 70-200mm –> $2k
– 55-250mm –> $450
Like everyone else in my situation at the time, I seriously questioned why anybody would pay so much more for a less versatile lens.  Keep in mind the max apertures meant nothing to me back then. 

Over time, however, I realised just how valuable the 70-200mm f2.8L IS came to be after various shoots/events.  Here are a few reasons why you would buy one:
– It looks cool, it’s grey, has a red ring, and a massive hood Winking smile
– It’s sharp, sharper than your favourite steak knife
– Quiet and accurate focusing, unlike those older Tamron lenses that sounds like R2D2 with a spastic colon
– Finally … f2.8 f2.8 f2.8 f2.8 f2.8 f2.8 f2.8 f2.8!

Need I continue?

On the other hand, here are a few of the reasons that put people off from buying this lens:
– Size, weighs in at approx 1.6kg which puts it in the light heavyweight division of lenses
– $$$ the MkII version will range from $2300-$3300 in price (AUD)
– In case I forgot … SIZE

Here’s the thing about this lens, it won’t be one that you use all the time.  In fact, it might spend 80% of the time in a dry cabinet in your home.  Right now you may be thinking “why would I drop $2500 on a lens that I won’t use 80% of the time?”  You have a point, to an extent.  I brought this lens with me on an overseas trip and I NEVER used it.  BUT, here’s one of the many reasons to use this lens.  In these situations, there is no substitute to having a 70-200 f2.8L.

198830_10150435749190650_658045649_17929833_6644576_n   199857_10150435746005650_658045649_17929782_302581_n

199241_10150435746490650_658045649_17929786_3834176_n     199436_10150435745585650_658045649_17929775_6535703_n

Reason #1 to have this lens: Indoor sports photography!  Sharp, fast focusing, and the f2.8 gives you fast enough shutter speeds for indoor sports Smile.  If you’ve ever tried to get these photos in a basketball stadium with a non f2.8 lens, you’ll know what I mean. 

Stay tuned for reason #2