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Basket Express is your ticket to everything you love about this great sport. Check out some great content, and connect with other fans from all over the globe.

Personalized Sports Gifts for the Sports Nut in Your Life

When you are looking for that special gift for an enthusiastic sports fanatic, get them a personalized sports gift. After all, there are many different kinds of gifts to choose from. For example, if they still enjoy catching a couple of passes, you might want to buy such a football with their photograph or favorite team depicted on the surface. Or, if they are pretty busy with work and everyday activities, a coffee mug with their alma matter photo and the year they graduated might be a better choice.

Regardless of the occasion, time of year, and how close you are to the person, you can always give a personalized sports gift to a sports fanatic and rest assured that it will be greatly appreciated. Any sports fanatic, or even a sports enthusiast, will enjoy a gift with their favorite team on it; especially when it is personalized to have their name on it as well. That combination makes it even more special.

With items to choose from such as personalized photo baseballs, personalized baseball mouse pads, personalized basketball bag tags, personalized basketball participating award plaques with the individual's name on the plaque, personalized hockey pucks with the individual's picture on the puck, and on and on. If it is a sport, chances are, there is some type of memorabilia out there for it waiting to be personalized just for your occasion.

One of the most popular personalized sports gifts is the coffee mug with the person's favorite sport team on it and their name. This shows their team spirit and there is no question about whose coffee mug it is so when a fellow employee, who also loves the same football team, decides to "borrow" the mug, there is no debate about who it really belongs to. What a way to stop those office arguments!

Personalized sports gifts are great for those sports teams too. When you have a really great baseball team, one that has performed well against all odds, beating out all the other office teams, you need to show solidarity. And what better way than to have some type of memorabilia with the team information on it? Mouse pads that everyone can use at work with the team picture would be a great way of showing off just how great the team really was. Especially when it is the photo with that great big trophy in front and the whole team huddled around it! Talk about a way of making the rest of the guys in the office jealous. They will all want to be a part of your next sports team just so they can have a personalized sports gift too!


The History and Origins of Basketball

In the modern day Basketball is an extremely popular sport that appeals to a wide range of people of different ages, genders, and backgrounds. Even 16 years back in 1996 Basketball had become popular enough to reach Hollywood with the smash hit Space Jam starring Michael Jordan and other NBA stars. The sport now has even given birth to newer derivatives such as the action packed sport Slam Ball that involves trampolines, Basketball nets, and full contact. With the sport providing so much entertainment and new innovative derivatives it can be quite refreshing to take a look at its history.

The origins of Basketball can be traced back to over 100 years ago, to the town in Massachusetts known as Springfield. The establishment formally known as YMCA, the Young Mans Christian Association, and now regarded as the Springfield College was the home to the birth of Basketball. A P.E Professor, Dr James Naismith, at this college first initiated the sport. He was simply looking to keep his class entertained on a rainy day in early December 1891. The first game of Basketball had some significant differences from the modern day game, firstly instead of a hoop a peach basket was used, and the only way that you could move the ball around the court was to pass it.

After the initial birth of basketball the game developed slowly from what was just described towards our modern day sport. The Canadian inventor of the sport, James Naismith, kept working on the sport, and even brought in some rules from a childhood game he played called duck on a rock. It wasn't until the early 1900s that the fundamental Basketball rules we all know really came to be. The first game was played in Albany, New York. At this time the concept was very broad and the rules and regulations had not been fully developed, however this did not stop the sport from travelling and becoming an instant success across Canada and the United States.

Following this the sport was picked up at colleges and high schools, and by time the 1920s rolled around it had grown into a professional sport. Then Basketball went international, and in 1936 James Naismith travelled to Berlin for the summer Olympics and the sport was first featured as a medal sport. Ironically the YMCA began to discourage the sport about a decade after because it was attracting or creating rough and rowdy crowds. Finally in the 1950s Tony Hinkle emerged with the first ever basketball designed specifically for the game, the orange colour was picked for visibility.


Tips For Keeping Kids Active and Healthy

So many kids today are overweight and obese that the phenomenon has reached near epidemic proportions in the United States alone. Parents are the strongest influences in their children's lives and it's up to them to feed their children right and then get them up and moving. If you are a parent who worries about keeping your children active, here are some tips.

-- Limit TV viewing and video games

Yes, the kids will protest. Yes, they may cry about it at first. Parents are sometimes so worried about angering their children that they don't stand up for what they know to be in their children's best interest; but it's essential that parents put their foot down and set scheduled times for TV and video game use in their own homes. Start with two hours a day and let each kid choose when the actual time will be that they will be allowed to stare at a monitor, be it TV or computer.

-- Set the proper example

Sitting around all day being passive participants in life leads to overweight parents just as much as it leads to overweight children. Send a message that physical activity is important by engaging in it yourself on a regular basis. If possible, include the kids. Plan hikes as a family or go for a swim at the local pool or nearby lake. You could take karate lessons together or set a time for regular family bike rides. Not only will everyone be healthier, your lines of communication will also improve when you're having fun together.

-- Make your backyard a place where the kids want to go

How about installing a basketball standard on that unused slab of concrete out back? Many families would like to have a trampoline but worry about safety: how about getting a bounce house for your little ones instead? They can bounce for hours without your worrying about dangerous falls or injuries. Get a swing set or a jungle gym for the kids to monkey around on. If you are home during the day, organize backyard games and invite the whole neighborhood over for some good old fashioned physical fun.

-- Get your kids involved in sports

Participating in organized team sports is a great way for children to develop social skills, understand the concept of teamwork, and stay fit while having fun. All communities have soccer, baseball, and basketball leagues for all ages and sexes. If team sports aren't interesting to your child, help him to experiment with various types of individual sports and one just might pique his interest: try tennis, golf, swimming, and even horseback riding. Don't give up too soon if he doesn't find "his" sport right away: when he does, he'll be more likely to be active for a lifetime!


How To Be A Proficient Coach In The Game Of Basketball

Being part of a basketball team or even leading the team requires certain tactics and strategies that must be put into play. The game of basketball is about a lot more than just shooting some hoops. It requires a lot of planning and preparation in making a strong team and helps the players to play their best.

Basketball is really a sport that requires someone who is a trained coach to lead a team. Coaches need to have the proper skills such as the knowledge about conditioning that is done on a daily basis so that players are limber and prepared for the game which also reduces any injuries caused from the stress of the game. Basketball is a game of high physical contact and it is intense physically therefore the team is required to be able to move around quickly and efficiently on the court. Part of the conditioning for basketball requires running practice, training and conditioning the team members to learn how to shoot the ball correctly, dribble, and utilize their offense and defense at all times.

It is also a job of the coach to ensure the safety of his players during conditioning as well as during the game. Basketball is a game where there is a high risk of injury because of the pushing, the running, and the nature of the speed involved. It is also very important that once a player sustains an injury regardless of the magnitude of it that the coach does not push the player and add further strain to the injury. It is essential that any injuries are taken care of in their entirety before the player returns to the game.

Both physical and mental preparation need to be addressed for each and every game. A player can be in top notch physical condition but if the player is not mentally right it is likely that he will not perform well in that game. Respect is a very large part of the game and players need to understand that during the game and also during practices. It is the coach's job to make sure that players walk away from a game feeling both physically and mentally good in the event of a win or a loss.

Coaching a game such as basketball requires diligence constantly and players need a continual understanding of the game and its basics. This has to be done consistently and with a firm but at the same time caring hand. Coaches are very special
people that can leave a lasting impression on players for years to come. Players will need continual reinforcement and believe it or not need to understand how to both win and lose effectively.

Having the right mindset is extremely important when it comes to playing any game at all and so is morale. Teams that have not unified and that have low morale will essentially have low numbers of wins as well. The responsibility of this lies largely in part of the coach as it is his job to make sure that no matter what morale stays high.


A Man Obsessed With Sports Images

Some folks only by the newspaper for the sports section. There are a lot of guys and girls who have no interest in anything but what is happening in the world of professional athletics. If you think the nerds who enjoy comic books or science fiction are insular and obsessive you have never considered making the comparison to real sports nuts. They can verbally recreated obscure MLV photos and can relay the intricacies of a basketball image as if the moment has been burned in their minds forever.

These folks are not only sports obsessed in conversation it seeps into every part of their lives. Each morning rather than putting on the news they put on Sport's Center. Each night rather than falling asleep with Leno or Letterman on the television they dose off to still more Sport's Center. They build friendships around season tickets and name children after renowned linebackers. Their homes are over flowing with memorabilia. Caught balls, framed jerseys, binders loaded to capacity with trading cards going back decades. Where most folks would have art or photos of loved ones, their homes are decorated with Nascar images here and NBA photo there. It is as if their entire life has some connection with professional sports.

It is easy to understand why these sports fanatics get this way. The thrill we get from watching a classic sports image unfold before our eyes is a rush unlike any other. When we see someone operating on a higher plane of physical aptitude than we could ever personally imagine it is spellbinding. These folks got that rush and never wanted to let go of it. Watching an athlete expertly execute a task is impressive because in a way we can see ourselves in those accomplishments. We have the same arms and legs that they do and yet here they are, years into grueling training making their bodies do things that our's simply will never get close to.

People build their lives around sports and sports images because it gives a certain kind of order to the world. There are winners and losers. There are statistics and truths in numbers. What sports also provides the obsessives is a sense of a seemingly endless continuum of accomplishment and potential. Each year there is a season of baseball, basketball, football, and other sports and each year there is more information to analyze and think about. If the sports bug bites you it will never end because sports never end. So there is still an iconic sports image to be made. Maybe even today.


The Most Dominant Center In The History Of The NBA!

When he retired at the age of 42, he took with him records for most points scored by an NBA player, most blocked shots, most MVP awards, most appearances in All-Star games, and most seasons played. To put it simply, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar composed the most impressive personal and team accomplishments in the history of the NBA! He was named Rookie of the Year, was a member of 6 NBA championship teams, was a six-time NBA MVP, was named NBA Finals MVP twice, was selected the All-Star team 19 times, league scoring champion twice, and selected as a member of the NBA 35th and 50th Anniversary All-Time Teams. And, no one was too amazed as Kareem had been a dominant force in basketball since his high school days.

Kareem's first or original name was Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor (he would later change it to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). He went by Lew Alcindor. His basketball dominance began in high school, where he led Power Memorial High School to a 72 game winning streak and an overall record of 96 and 6. As a sophomore at Power Memorial, he averaged 19 points and 18 rebounds for an undefeated team. His high school team was unbeaten in Alcindor's junior season as well. The next year, for the first time in 72 games, they lost a game to DeMatha Catholic High School (of Maryland), 46-43. It was the only loss for Power in 3 years. In 1965 Lew Alcindor finished his high school career with 2,067 points and 2,002 rebounds, both of which are New York City records. Kareem was the greatest high school basketball player of his time.

He chose UCLA to continue with his basketball development, and once again, he was a dominant force in college. Back in those days, freshmen were not eligible to play varsity, but in a exhibition game, with 31 points, 21 rebounds and 7 blocked shots Alcindor led his freshman team to a victory over UCLA's 2- time NCAA Championship varsity team, 75-60. During his first ever varsity game (66-67), Lew Alcindor set a UCLA scoring record with 56 points. He averaged 29 points and 15.5 rebounds with a .667 shooting percentage for the year as UCLA went 30-0. They would end the season with a victory in the NCAA Championships against University of Dayton, 79-64. Lew Alcindor would go on to lead UCLA to 2 more NCAA Championships; he won a national title every year in varsity basketball in college! Alcindor finished his UCLA career with 3 National Championships, Named 1st Team All-American 3 Times (67,68 & 69), selected as Player of the Year in 1967 and 1969 by The Sporting News, United Press International, the Associated Press and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Named Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament in 1967, 1968 and 1969. Finished lording over the NCAA he then took his game to the NBA.

He was drafted as the first pick in the 1969 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks were a young team in only in it's second season. In his first year Alcindor averaged 28.8 points (2nd in the NBA) and 14.5 rebounds (3rd) to lead the Bucks to an improved record of 56-26. They would reach the Eastern Division finals only to be beaten by the Knicks. Lew was awarded the League's Rookie of the Year Award.

After acquiring the legendary Oscar Robertson, the Milwaukee Bucks went on to become a dominant team and recorded 66 victories in the 70-71 season. Alcindor was awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player Award and his first NBA Scoring Title. The Bucks went on to dominate in the playoffs, going 12 and 2. They swept the Baltimore Bullets in 4 games in the NBA finals. He had won his first NBA title and was named NBA Finals MVP. It was after this series that he announced that his legal name was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which translates to "noble, servant of the powerful one".

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar went on to win the NBA Most Valuable Player award during the 71-72, and 72-73 seasons. In 1974 the Bucks were once again in the NBA Finals, but would lose to the Boston Celtics. Kareem asked for a trade during the 74-75 season. In 1975, the Lakers acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and reserve center Walt Wesley from the Bucks for center Elmore Smith, guard Brian Winters, and rookies Dave Meyers and Junior Bridgeman.

Kareem won the MVP award in the 75-76 season, but the Lakers failed to reach the playoffs. He again was named MVP in 76-777 when the Lakers made the playoffs, only to be stopped by the eventual champion Portland Trail Blazers. In 1979 the Lakers drafter Earvin "Magic" Johnson, and this would begin a run of Championships. The Lakers would go on to win the 5 NBA titles in the next 10 years. All the while Kareem was putting up dominant performances game in ad game out.

When Kareem retired in 1989, it marked the end of a dominating era in the NBA. Kareem left the game as the NBA's all-time scorer (38,387 points / 24.6 ppg), 17,440 rebounds (11.2 rpg), 3,189 blocks, and a .559 field-goal percentage in a career over 20 years and 1,560 games. He had scored in double figures in 787 straight games. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had cemented his name in history as the greatest center in the history of the NBA and more than likely, of all time!


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