Senior Year in Review // Senior Farewell by//Matthew Fitzsimmons

My senior year was a rollercoaster ride full of stressing out and not caring. I began doing as little as possible to get by and not worrying about it until I had to. With the lack of school on my mind it gave me a lot of focus on my basketball league. This league I ran took up most of my time and energy when I wasn’t in school. From playing, to keeping records, to making tier lists and stat sheets, I invested a lot of time in my basketball league.

I began this league with my co-commissioner Bryce Walts. We would spend multiple hours every sunny day texting and calling every able body we knew. Basketball went from a fun game to a full day of work trying to get all the guys we needed to play our games. Each day could range from the minimum of six guys to the occasional 12. We then would round everyone up at my house for the long awaited ‘ball’ session. Now ball at the Fitz residence, otherwise known as Fitz Fieldhouse, was more unique than the usual basketball game. We would play on my driveway with the goal set to a very strict and precise 8 ¾ foot rim; with this height, roughly half of the players can dunk, and nearly half of of those guys can dunk in game, thus setting the perfect height for our basketball games.

My basketball league was soon revamped and made much more efficient. I realized we need to skip the extensive invite time and shorten it with a method to message everyone individually. I then created my very own “classroom” in the app that’s so widely popular in schools, Remind101. With the creation of the class “Hoop Life Mixtape”, it shortened the multiple-hour invite time to mere seconds. Owning this classroom meant I didn’t need any more help inviting people which soon brought me from the co-commissioner status to a full commissioner title. That left a rather distraught ex-commissioner, Bryce, out of the process. Upon this innovation I decided to spruce up the basketball sessions a little better. The old, worn down white paint lines were all fading and barely even visible. I then set out to repaint the court, change the net, and clean the backboard. Over a warmer spring morning, Asher Wheat and I set out on a mission to buy a fresh dark red paint to paint new lines. After purchasing the paint we went back to my house and prepared for the long feat of repainting the court. This took about four to five hours to complete, from having to sweep the court, tape the boundary lines of each notch, and then painting every line. The next morning we had ball scheduled for 1:00 pm. With our fingers crossed and our hopes to see our hard work pay off, we woke up and checked out the paint job for a very pleasant surprise at the latest innovation. It looked wonderful, with the bright and fresh net, sparkly clean backboard, and the bold red lines. This gave me a sense of ownership over the court after merely taking the reigns from my older brother. This was all a sharp turn for the better for the Hoop Life Mixtape. Everyone loved the new changes besides the one bitter ex co-commissioner Bryce.

This is how my high school career was simply busy work on the side of my main priority, The Hoop Life Mixtape Basketball League. The league is still thriving and continues to get a bunch of guys outdoors and exercising whilst relieving the stress of a long school day. The widespread popularity and recognition of my league has given everyone a chance to play and join in on the fun pastime of basketball.Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 9.47.32 AM.png

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