The state basketball tournament is one of the greatest events that is put on annually by the Nebraska Schools Activities Association. The girls version started in 1977. Whether you are going by yourself, taking the family or going with some teammates there are a few things you should do this weekend.
Here is our list of ten things to do at the 2019 state tournament.
- Watch a bench. Great teams, you had to do a few things great to arrive here, have great benches. Watch their energy. Watch how they greet their teammates at a timeout. You might just find that the six champions have the best benches.
- Rate the bands. The bands at state basketball always produce awesome work. Sit back and enjoy them while the teams are waiting to play. Really listen. You’ll love it.
- Colby Ridge. This is not supposed to be an advertisement, but if you don’t have a waffle cone, we can’t help you.
- The Hugs. You’ll see plenty of these between a coach and player this weekend. They will be jubilant, but most will be sad because it came to an end. Even if you have no rooting interest stand up and clap for a hug. They signify lifelong relationships that will last way past a weekend in March. And, also the hard work and effort it took to make it that far.
- Watch a game with a teammate. If you have any basketball left in you, whether you are a fourth grader or a junior, watch a game with your friends. Look at the special thing going on on the court and set a goal to see if you’re friends can come back with your uniforms on someday.
- A Perfect Thursday? I’d never encourage anyone to skip Class A basketball, but might we suggest waiting until Friday this year? Start your day with breakfast at Pinnacle Bank Arena to see Elkhorn South and Sidney, then Crete’s Morgan Maly and Omaha Skutt’s Sydney McDermott do battle. Grab a lunch and head to Lincoln Southwest. The state’s leading scorer — Dacey Nelson of Oakland-Craig— leads her teammates against Ponca. Then, defending champ Superior takes on top-seed Hastings St, Cecilia, a rematch of an overtime game in January. In the night cap, head to Devaney where Central 10 foes Northwest and Seward do battle first (a one-point game in December) and then Elkhorn and Waverly have a rubber match. Get some rest.
- The Back of the Program. Look through those records in the back. Mom might be in there. Or someone she or your dad know. Or a coach for your schools team. Then go find them. Ask them what basketball taught them about life.
- Buy a Shirt. Especially if you are in elementary or junior high. Beg mom and dad. It might make you work just a little harder on that dream.
- Watch the Medal Ceremony. This is the ultimate in excitement and disappointment. But just watch, whether from your couch or the arena. This is the peak of what high school sports teach. That the journey with your teammates is the greatest reward. Championship or not.
- Soak in the finals early! Most think you can watch the finals on television so it’s no big deal to miss them. Don’t fall for it. The NSAA has done an excellent job of creating atmosphere and moment the participants will never forget. You’d be wise to experience it, too.
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