The long NBA season wrapped up in mid-June and it ended with the Golden State Warriors taking home their first championship as a franchise since 1975. Draymond Green, a player with one of the most successful collegiate careers in recent memory who is now on his way to making more than $16 million per year, served an unexpected key role on that championship run.Green is a very talented player. He can shoot from the outside, pass exceptionally for someone his size and display great versatility on defense. But, it’s his fiery spirit and consistent passion for the sport that may be his most important asset, as it’s something that isn’t found often in the NBA.On the other hand, that passion is at the foundation of the college game and is a big reason people are so drawn to the sport, especially during the NCAA tournament. I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that four years at Michigan State played a key role in helping a guy like Green develop that fire and emotion on the court.In fact, Green said during the news conference announcing his contract extension, his college coach, Tom Izzo, made him the man he is today.“That’s the thing I love about Coach Izzo is, him raising you into a man when you get to his program is 10 times more important than what type of basketball player you become,” he said.Sooo…… Them Spartans!!!!— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) March 29, 2015Yet, it’s become a common belief, especially among NBA fans, that college basketball is simply — in the words of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban — “unwatchable.” Among their arguments are that the players aren’t athletic enough, quick enough or strong enough, along with other complaints that can’t be avoided because, simply put, they’re amateurs.What do you expect?There is, however, a series of arguments that actually carry some weight and have been addressed for this coming season: The game is too slow. There aren’t enough points scored. Nobody wants to watch a team dribble the ball around for 30 seconds and then take a bad shot.All are legitimate and sometimes true. Scoring in many college games only reaches the 60’s and 70’s, at times with possessions seemingly dragging on forever. This is why the NCAA changed the previously 35-second shot clock to 30-seconds for the upcoming 2015-16 season and beyond. They have also cut the number of total timeouts from five to four, with the number that can carry over to the second half limited to three.The rule changes have been put in place in an effort to speed up the game, increase possessions and ultimately create a more “watchable” game.This is all happening despite the fact that people are still watching, and they’re watching more than ever before. According to the Nielsen television ratings, the average viewership of this year’s “March Madness” was the highest in 22 years, averaging 11.3 million total viewers.Thirty-eight and no: Wisconsin moves on to national championship game with stunning win over undefeated KentuckyINDIANAPOLIS – The Wisconsin men’s basketball team was able to do something no other team has done all season. No Read…The NCAA National Championship game between Wisconsin and Duke averaged 28.3 million total viewers, making it the most-watched championship game in 18 years. This is despite the fact that one of the teams in that championship game, Wisconsin, ranked 346th out of 351 NCAA Division 1 teams in pace of play, averaging just over 61 possessions per game.Déjà blue: Wisconsin’s historic season ends in heartbreaking loss to Duke in national championship gameINDIANAPOLIS – The best season in Wisconsin men’s basketball history will end on the most disappointing of notes. Wisconsin, playing Read…Yet, people continue to complain.The suggestion that college hoops is “unwatchable” doesn’t stem from the rules or shot clock or number of possessions – it never did. If anything, it stems from the new one-and-done trend in the college game. That’s what stagnates the game and ultimately makes it “unwatchable.”Kohlbeck: One-and-done wins, but the Wisconsin method is way more funThe talk around college basketball “one-and-done” players and “four-year” players is reaching its highest watermark in the history of the Read…For me, the only thing that is unwatchable about college hoops are the tears shed by student-athletes after they realize their season or career is over after the final buzzer. The outpour of emotion when they realize they will never again put on a uniform that represents what their life has been for the past four years. The coaches, players and fans all realizing they have to start all over next year. That’s unwatchable.I was in the locker room after Wisconsin’s national championship. It was overrun with emotion. Grown men were sobbing because they felt as if all their hard work was for nothing.And I couldn’t watch it.Yet, it’s that emotion that makes college basketball great. There is an all-around passion and excitement that you just don’t find in any other sport. It’s four-year guys like Draymond Green and Wisconsin’s own Frank Kaminsky showing their competitive nature on the floor, while also showing they’re still college kids off the floor, that make this sport what it is.Never been more proud of a group in my entire life. What we achieved will never be taken away from us. Thank you for having me @UWMadison— Frank Kaminsky III (@FSKPart3) April 7, 2015Having the opportunity to watch these guys grow over four years, both as basketball players and as people, is a rarity that I feel we are beginning to take for granted.Now, with so many talented players leaving school to pursue bigger and better things after just their freshman season, we don’t see the four-year college stars as often.So yes, I’m happy to see changes made to the sport that improve the pace and flow of the game, but as long as the passion, fire and emotion that make the college game so unique are all still there, I’ll be watching. I’ll always be watching.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisIt was truly a sight to see, and a time to be standing still in history. But for some Alpena natives’ witnessing a total solar eclipse was the only thing on their minds.Leaving out a day earlier, some residents decided to travel south to witness just two minutes of a moment in time.Honoring his brother, Dan who passed away from cancer 28 years ago, Les Seres traveled Sunday to Franklin, Tennessee to witness a full total solar eclipse, believing that it was something he could share with his brother.“Me and him as younger kids growing up we were really into the stars, and the cosmos. This is the opportunity if I get the chance to see it hopefully he will see it through my eyes too,” Seres said.Seres didn’t travel alone, he along with his wife and their children with some Alpena friends made the journey to witness the total eclipse as a family.“To me it will probably be more of a spiritual experience then the whole physical thing too. But the opportunity to see full totality, full darkness of the moon crossing over the sun, once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m going for the gusto,” he said with joy.The Seres family wasn’t the only ones from Alpena who planned on getting out of town…Alpena High School, earth science and history teacher, John Caplis traveled to Ohio to give his children an educational lesson to remember.“I want my kids to be able to see it. It’s one of those history–making events you know if you can get your kids to see it because the next one is in April 2024, so there’s a good chance that it will be cloudy in April so this is a good time to see the eclipse and is worth traveling for,” Caplis said.All in all this day in history was truly a sight to see and like these Alpena natives said, it was a family affair.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Solar EclipseContinue ReadingPrevious Susan’s Wish Garden WalkNext Alpena Firefighters Gear up for MDA ‘Fill the Boot’ Fundraiser