BASKETBALL STORIES

Every time I walk into a gym to broadcast a basketball game I experience something new. This past week was exceptional with fun things happening to me.

Tuesday night I was in Dawson for the girl’s basketball game with LQPV. Bart Hill, a friend and long-time teacher and coach is helping me broadcast some basketball games this year. He has retired from teaching and has some time on his hands. He is very knowledgeable about the sport and does a great job with the commentary. We set up in the corner of the gym and were broadcasting the game when it happened.

I was doing the play by play when all of a sudden a young girl, Tayah McKenney, whom I recognized from the concession stand, stuck her head in between Bart and I and asked in a loud voice if we would like some pizza!! I was stunned for a second, knowing her voice was going over the air. I stopped doing play by play for a second and stared at Bart. Bart then said “Yes, I’ll have a pepperoni” and so I said I’ll have the same! All of this was going over the airwaves while the game continued on. She left to go get our pizza and Bart and I chuckled before picking up the play by play again!

That happened right after halftime and she didn’t return with our pizza till the very end of the game. So Bart and I kept asking each other while the game was going on, “where is our pizza”? When is she going to bring our pizza? It made for good radio and a good laugh. Tayah is a sweetheart and very kind and thoughtful.

Thursday Bart and I were at LQPV for the girls game with RTR. Both teams have winning records and we were looking for a good game. First thing I noticed was a referee, his name is Clint Shiller. He is known for his long ZZ Top type beard. He also umps a lot of baseball games in the summer. Earlier in the week Clint had sent a Tweet to me jokingly asking when was he going to get a Player of the Game t-shirt? So Thursday night I decided to snap a few pictures of him. I posted them on my social media sites. Seriously, referees and score table workers don’t get enough recognition for what they do. I wanted to recognize him.

Also at LQPV Thursday night, the LQPV students were cheering on the girls team, there were quite a few of them in attendance. They were cheering and doing funny chants with the RTR kids. They were loud at times. In the second half as I was doing play by play, Bart started laughing and interrupted me and said, “the students are chanting your name!” Sure enough I heard “Paul Raymo….Paul Raymo…….Paul Raymo! I was shocked and embarrassed and humbled all at the same time. I gave the kids a thumbs up from my broadcast booth! Bart thought that was pretty cool, then they started chanting his name and I laughed. Then we got back to doing play by play!

Saturday Roxie and I got up early and left for Big Lake, Minnesota to watch our grandson Zane in a basketball tournament. His first game was at 11am. It’s a blast watching 7th grade boys play basketball. Zane is much taller than most of the players and is a good player. I was proud of him the way he hustled on the court. We wore our Foley Falcon apparel, which my daughter-in-law made for us. We had a fun day. So, that’s how the week ended. I have so much fun being in the gym watching basketball and visiting with the players and fans. Can’t wait for more basketball stories this week.

Tony Ourada - State Farm ad

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