Five minutes until tip-off, and the “ZetaZigaZama Ball is Life” basketball team was feeling the pressure. With only four players currently at the team’s opening game at Bloomquist Recreational Center and the 7 p.m. tip-off against the Industrial Engineers looming, the team was scrambling to find a replacement. Luckily, Andrew S., a friend of ZZZBB player Tristan Jung, was supposed to arrive to give ZZZBB a fifth player to avoid the dreaded forfeit (and the loss of the team’s $40 deposit). But it was 6:55 p.m., and the two of the three Andrews on ZZZBB were missing. The clock was ticking.
Prior to the game, finding players was not an issue for ZZZBB. The team formed from the mind of Charles A., a freshman on the second floor of Sargent. Charles quickly recruited eight other freshmen on the second floor to play for the Zeta Zigga Zama Ball Is Life crew (the name coming from the floor’s rather pointless fake fraternity). Alas, injuries and problems whittled the squad down to just four members before game day. Small forward David S. withdrew from the team due to fears of a ruptured spleen. Shooting guard Rahim the Dream had an organic chemistry midterm during the first game and was unable to attend. Two other members of the team never responded to the group message.
Meanwhile, the clock was ticking.
“What is with the name of this team?” questioned one of the referees.
He did not get an answer.
Suddenly, Andrew S. arrived at Bloomquist to take his place as the super-sub for the game. With almost no warmup, Andrew S. walked onto the court and immediately slotted in at the three. He joined Albert L., the team’s center, and Andrew K., the all-around power forward. Captain Charles A. played the point. Tristan J. was supposed to be playing at the two-guard spot, but he mostly just ran around the court and did not know what position he was playing.
On the other end, the Industrial Engineers were looking to bounce back from a disappointing blowout loss in their opening game. Behind “the Professor” and the size of “Number 46”, the Industrial Engineers posed an interesting matchup for the ZZZBB team. The Engineers also had six players while ZZZBB could only field five. ZZZBB controlled the opening tip and made the first basket of the game, but it quickly became clear the Industrial Engineers were going to keep it close.
“They had a solid gameplan,” said Tristan. “They’re a good team. They knew what they were doing. We really had to worry about that.” As with most athlete quotes, Tristan’s comments added nothing to this article.
The game was back and forth as both teams were unable to gain any long runs. ZZZBB took a two-point lead early in the first half, but a three from the Professor put the Industrial Engineers back on top. Then, Andrew W., the last member of ZZZBB’s three Andrew attack, arrived on the scene and was able to give ZZZBB some much-needed relief on the bench. Andrew K., who will be referred as “The Baller” in the future, led ZZZBB in scoring early with some drives to the basket. Albert contributed some points but some sloppy turnovers left the Industrial Engineers within striking distance. ZZZBB were also getting huge points from the imposing “Number 46”. It was a two-point game at halftime, with the Industrial Engineers down 19-17.
ZZZBB immediately gave up the lead in the second half, and both defenses clamped down as the game went on. The Industrial Engineers were able to take the lead midway through the half, but ZZZBB switched out Tristan. The Baller, Andrew W., Andrew S., Albert L and Charles played tight defense in the second half. Andrew W., who will be referred to as “Spiderman” in the future, switched to center and successfully guarded “Number 46”. Spiderman had some huge blocks as the Industrial Engineers offense slowed down. However, the ZZZBB offense was not doing much better. More bad turnovers and lack of communication left ZZZBB only up 31-30 with three minutes to go in the game.
“You know, we really had to just start playing team basketball. We weren’t playing with the right mindset, but we really started to pick it up on defense,” said Tristan. Once again, this quote added nothing to the article because the athletes have nothing good to say.
Then, Charles picked up his distribution and started dishing the ball around the court. Spiderman hit two bankshots and Andrew S., who will be referred to as “The Curler” in the future, scored on an easy fastbreak as ZZZBB went on a 6-0 run to go up 37-30. It was the biggest run of the entire game, and ZZZBB did not let up on defense as the Industrial Engineers failed to score for the rest of the game. And with that, ZZZBB went from a forfeit to a solid victory in the span of one hour.
Charles’ defense and rebounding saved ZZZBB on multiple occasions, even though he failed to score. The Baller was ZZZBB’s most effective offensive player. Albert made a bunch of tough shots but did not have his perimeter shooting going. Spiderman was quiet offensively until late in the second half, but his defense kept ZZZBB in the game. The Curler was a great addition and scored 6 second-chance points with solid defense. Tristan scored two points and turned the ball over multiple times, but he wrote this article so he should get some credit.
“Oh my gosh, we won!” Spiderman said after the game.
“I couldn’t score, but passing is a big part of my game and I did a good job of that,” Charles said.
“We really did a great job executing and playing within ourselves,” the Curler added.
ZZZBB has room to improve, but coming away with a victory in the opening game for the season will be a huge morale boost for the raw freshmen squad. The team’s next game is against a real fraternity, Sigma Chi White, who only won 32-29 in its last game. As of time of writing, the author is not sure if Sigma Chi White refers to the “White League” of the Northwestern Intramural circuit (the other league is purple) or whether the team is just made up of white guys.
After the game, Tristan J. stated: “I think we have a good shot at beating them. We’re only going to get better. Can’t rest on our laurels though. We’re just trying to go 1-0 every week. 1-0. That’s all we care about. Gotta execute.”
Yes, if there’s one thing every sports team in America has to do, it’s execute.
Zeta Ziga Zama Ball is Life: 37
Industrial Engineers: 30
- An Industrial Engineers player (No. 18) broke his glasses while contesting a rebound. Another player hurt his hand.
- Charles actually had zero points despite playing point guard for 36 minutes.
- The Curler had three fouls heading into crunch time, but it did not affect his play.
- “Number 46” is currently on the football team. He had like 20 rebounds.
- There was one play in which The Baller got fouled going to the basket at least four times by the Professor and nothing was called.
- ZZZBB missed all of its free-throw attempts.
- ZZZBB will be adding some new players to its squad before the next game.
- This article may not be in AP Style. Suck it Medill.