Christmas specials

By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger/Placer Herald Sports Editor
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I have to open this column with the news that my stepdaughter brought into this world a bouncing baby boy, 12:05 a.m., Tuesday. I’ve never known why newborn boys were referred to as “bouncing,” but during this basketball season it seems appropriate. He was born to Matthew and Aimee Hutchison of Foresthill. He weighed in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces, and was just shy of 20 inches. I’m sure that should put him on pace to be dunking the ball by the time he makes his high school varsity basketball team – scholarship – as the commercial goes. And speaking of making the varsity basketball team, this week begins the invitational tournaments for two local high schools. Lincoln High’s girls basketball team will host the Chavez Christmas Classic running from now through Saturday. And on that same schedule will be the Holiday Tournament put on by the Rocklin High School boys basketball team. For cager fans, these invitational tournaments are a great way to take a look at the competition this year. Although these events seldom include teams from a school’s respective league, they do draw some terrific talent from around the area. And they give the teams a great way to prepare for the regular season when they make a run for that conference title, or a spot in the section playoffs. The tournaments offer four great games each day, and will top off Saturday with the consolation game, the battle for third place, and of course, the tournament championship. And the Christmas Classic throws in an added bonus with a junior high tournament going on, as well. Do yourself and your school a favor and attend at least one tournament game. Take the family and make it a part of your Christmas holiday. The price is affordable and the money well spent, as the proceeds support the school’s athletic programs. Other tournaments are to follow: The Lincoln boys, varsity through freshman, will host a tournament Dec. 20-22; the Rocklin girls will feature a freshman tournament, Dec. 20-22, and the JV put on a show Dec. 27-29. And Whitney High School’s boys will take to the hardwood – frosh through varsity – Dec. 28-30. It’s a Christmas extravaganza at a very special time. And speaking of extravaganzas, the Sacramento Kings gave Twelve Bridges Middle School one few in attendance will soon forget. Thanks to parent Alma Godines, who works for the Sacramento organization and has a son on the Titans’ eighth-grade team, the Kings’ cast and crew (minus ball players) showed up to turn a regular game into a fan-frenzied spectacular. Hats off to Kings’ cheerleaders, break dancers, announcers, and Slamson for their professionalism; although they gave fans a show seldom seen outside Power Balance Pavilion, they did so without interfering with the game. Sure, some players were a bit distracted by it all, but by games end they were well into it. The Kings now have other business to attend to, but I would love to see more of that kind of energy at prep games. It was fan-tastic and fun, even for those not all that interested in sports.