Hoop Therapy

How long have you played basketball? Growing up, I had a bunch of friends who played, but I probably didn’t start until I was about 13. I used to play pick-up—the development I lived in had a court. But I started in a league with SoCo Sports in Sarasota around the beginning of last year.

How often do you play? The league plays once a week on Saturdays: I have a two-year-old son, and I take him to the court with me. He’s become addicted to it. When I come home, he’ll ask, “Can you play basketball with me?”

Supplemental workouts? I’m a big calisthenics person—push-ups, dips—and plyometrics, using my own body weight as resistance. I try to do 100 push-ups in the morning before I get in the shower. There was a time when I lifted weights pretty consistently, but in basketball [lifting weights] messes up your shot—you’re all tense and you’ve got all that lactic acid built up.

Benefits? Before I started with SoCo, there was a lull where I hadn’t played in a while—I’d just moved to Manatee County, and with the birth of my second child, I’d put on a little pregnancy weight. When I got back to playing on a regulation court, after the first two sessions, I’d lost about 15 pounds. Back then, I was breathing heavy after a couple minutes; last session I was playing the whole game, start to finish. You don’t realize how hard you’re working, because you have so much fun doing it.

How do you find the time? It’s hard. The biggest thing is incorporating my family. They’ll come out and watch my games. My wife’s not a player, but if no one’s around, she’ll shoot with me. I like to try to make it a family deal.

Advice for basketball newbies? Even if you’re not that good, basketball requires a certain amount of bodies to make it interesting. It’s easy to get involved in a pick-up game, or you can sign up with SoCo as a sub, so if someone doesn’t show up, you can just play a game on Saturday. There are lots of horrible people who play; I’m not that great—if I were, I’d be getting paid for it.

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