The technical foul


February 16, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

It's true I spent more time on the wrestling mats than I ever did playing basketball in a gym, but that didn't stop me from getting a technical foul. And in a junior college basketball game, no less.

Ironically, I earned my technical the same weekend I was supposed to be wrestling in the Douglas County district championships. How, you must be asking by now, did a kid in the eighth grade earn a technical foul in a junior college basketball game? Well, I'm gonna tell you.

Having spent most of my life traveling with my father's basketball teams, I had become quite adept at keeping score. Thus, on road trips he had been utilizing my services for many years. I could do it all — keep the official book, the shot chart, you name the statistical need and I could do it. I had become quite an important cog in the Umpqua Community College machine. There were the players, my dad the coach, Wes the manager and me, young Christopher the statistician.


So it was not surprising I was acting as the team's scorer during a cold December in Eugene. The Timbermen of UCC were playing Lane Community College and I had faithfully executed my pregame duties. Those aforementioned duties included filling the team's water bottles, putting out the towels and my most important job, giving our book to the official scorer.

Now for those of you who don't know, the official scorer is usually the home team's scorer. That person's job is to copy down the team's roster from the visiting team's book and enter it into the home team's book. This entered roster is then used by the officials as the game's official lineup.

Well I had filled out our book that night and presented it to the home scorer, who had entered our lineup. I then returned to the end of the bench where I took my seat next to Wes and waited for the game to start.

Once under way things went by just fine. The Timbermen weren't such a great team that year, but they were good enough to stay in the game and the teams battled back and forth for about five minutes. And then it happened. Disaster struck and a 14-year-old boy found a way to get a technical foul called on him in a juco basketball game.

My father had tired of the play of one of his starting guards and was scanning the bench for someone to take his place. He settled on some short guy named Kevin Something who wore No. 10 and whose last name escapes me. He pulled up the guy by his jersey and sent him to the scorer's table to check into the game. Now I don't know why I have such a clear memory of what happened prior to the big ‘T', but I guess traumatic experiences are often burned into our heads. What happened next I shall never forget.

As soon as this Kevin guy set foot on the court the home team's scorer called the referee over and showed him the book. The referee scanned the book and raised his hands to form the "T," which would soon spell my doom.

The not-so-old man hurried over to see just what was going on and when he came back to the bench he was obviously upset. He walked over to me, grabbed our book, looked it over and then flipped it back toward me. I hadn't seen him quite that angry since the time I set my bedroom carpet on fire, but I was still sort of unaware just what had happened.

It took me a couple minutes, but as the other team shot its free throws, I saw what I had done. I had forgotten to write Kevin Whatshisname's name in the scorebook. My face turned flush red and I knew that as long as the game lasted I was safe, but I couldn't imagine just what sort of hell I would incur for this most horrible of transgressions.

Well to make a story that never should have been this long a bit shorter I will just say I don't remember who won that game. I do remember that my father didn't speak to me for quite awhile following that contest. But when he did everything was fine. As for Kevin and his importance to the game, I'm not sure what that was. I doubt he could have played that important of a role. His name wasn't even in the scorebook.

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