I was feeling a bit nostalgic today...
I had to drive through the area of the Cross Insurance Center, and for a split second, I totally forgot why there'd be a gajillion cars in the parking lot, and then I saw all the buses. Boom! hit me like a ton of bricks that it was tourney time. I never played basketball much myself, as I'm as about as athletic as a wet sock with a hole in it.
But, I spent a lot of time there in the pep band for Hampden Academy in the '80s/'90s. As high school bands go, we were a fairly talented bunch. We played all the tourney favorites... for the first game. Back then, Hampden had a great music department and a lot of kids who were maybe... ok at basketball. We never lasted long. I know H.A. has gone on to better things since, for sure.
Going back just a smidge further than my high school years...
Back a few decades before, Bangor High School must've been on fire. But in 1955, they went beyond the state championship and participated in the New England basketball tournament against Burlington High School from Vermont. And in the epic battle royale, they got to have their matchup in none other than the Boston Garden.
Scope this video of the game. It sounds so oldey-timey it hurts, hahaha.
Yes, that Boston Garden. Now it's the frikkin' TD Garden. *Sigh*. But... could you imagine, as a high schooler, walking out onto that majestic court? I'm not even super-maximum-sports-guy, but I know what it's like to do my thing in a giant room full of thousands of people.
Who knows, maybe it wasn't big deal back then. I mean, Larry Bird was still chucking rocks at pigeons in French Lick. But I bet anyone who played in that big game never forgets that day. I know I wouldn't. Good luck to all this year's tourney teams. and remember, the Cross Insurance Center ain't no slouch.