Last year, the sixth-grade Pilot Butte Middle School girls “Greenwave” basketball team went winless. However, they ended the season showing what team sports could be as the team played for the fun of it, smiled, laughed and made new friends.
Hearing how the Greenwave had made the most out of what would appear to be a dismal season and in the process grew as people, longtime local basketball referee Tom Hamilton noted: “middle school girl players truly get it, they enjoy the social aspect of the game and winning and losing isn’t a big deal.”
As the Greenwave’s sixth graders moved on to the seventh grade and launched into another basketball season, this time as the Pilot Butte Giants, their core players were back and ready for perhaps a win.
Things didn’t start too well – they were drubbed badly by a La Pine team in their opener. Thus ensued more loses with one team member noting after one of them: “Oh well, losing doesn’t mean anything.”
Soon, the 7th grade Giants losing game scores began to look like football game scores. Typical were 45 to 7 and 38 to 10 thrashings.
They endured, continuing to practice and play as if they were on the road to the NCAA Women’s Final Four. Fortunately, each team member had a moment in the limelight making a basket, sinking a free throw, getting a defensive stop or, in one case, firing in a three-pointer from way downtown.
Season two of the once Greenwave now Giants wound down ending again without a win, but with smiles and good cheer all around. And in the process, this team made those who watched realize that if a team sport is played with the right attitude, winning isn’t everything.