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Experience from the baseline | Column
Among the sea of 2,500-plus fans at the Royal Brougham Pavilion at Seattle Pacific University, Bothell High School students eagerly anticipate the upcoming game between the Cougars and the Rainier Beach Vikings.
This match-up was the highlight of the King Holiday Hoopfest on Jan. 21, an event hosted to fundraise for the King County Boys and Girls Club and Friends of Hoop.
While fans desperately searched for seats in the bleachers, I found the optimal place to watch the game on the baseline.
This wasn’t a Lakers’ game but the pace and intensity of both the Cougars and the Vikings sure made it seem like one. From the second that junior forward Josh Martin won the tipoff, the intensity never backed down. However, the Vikings scored the first couple of points and the Cougars just couldn’t quite take the lead from Pac-12 prospect junior forward, Shaqquan Aaron, a lead scorer for Beach and the rest of his team.
Despite the loss, UCLA commit and senior guard Zach LaVine led his team by demonstrating his agility and showing his awe-inspiring dunks for the fans.
The game boiled down to the last 37 seconds of the fourth quarter, filled with fouls, freethrows, turnovers and comebacks. With less than a minute to go and five points down, the Cougars managed to close the deficit with the help of LaVine. A missed 3-point shot at the buzzer sealed the score at 63-66, as Bothell lost its first game of the year.
There’s nothing quite like watching a sporting event from a place so close, you can walk onto the court with just one step. You don’t just watch the game, you hear it too; it was quite amusing to hear junior forward of Rainier Beach, Djuan Piper cuss out a referee within a personal distance, earning him a technical foul.
Only a handful of people got the opportunity to witness the full magnitude of LaVine’s dunks and feel the aftershock of the trembling basket. Adrenaline flowed through my veins during the last seconds of the fourth quarter, as if I was on the court myself. Sheer enjoyment, faces twisted in frustration, intense concentration and focus dominated the game, but bitter disappointment and glorious victory are always the result.
From the baseline, that’s what you see; you see more than a game. You see passion.
Regardless of losing, it was a good day to be a Bothell Cougar.
Jane Baek is a Bothell High School senior and Reporter Intern.