For me, there is no fan like the basketball fan.
Sure, football and soccer have the jersey wearers, the face painters, the horned shoulder pad dudes, the costumes and camaraderie, but most fans sit so far away from the action that the players and coaches can’t hear what they’re saying.
In high school sports a lot of times, the football and soccer games are more like social gatherings than they are about cheering their team on every play.
I don’t find that to be as true of the basketball fan, and they have so much more to offer.
The choreographed cheers, theme nights and the underlying roar of a basketball game over the dribbling of the ball and squeaking of the shoes is something that can’t be duplicated.
I prefer that cheering fan base as close to the court as possible. A little gamesmanship between players, fans and even coaches can go a long way, in my opinion.
And this year, with the 2019-20 basketball season upon us, there should be plenty to cheer about.
In the Southwestern 4A, is Independence good enough to win its third straight boys title or does someone like Myers Park, Butler or Rocky River take control?
Butler looks like the top dog on the girls side of things, but Hickory Ridge, Myers Park and Independence look particularly strong, too.
How about in the So. Meck 7? I see Berry and Ardrey Kell fighting for the boys top spot, but you never know.
Ardrey Kell, South Meck and Providence will fight it out on the girls side, but any of the three teams could win it.
The private-school battle should be fun as well.
Can the Charlotte Latin boys take over the CISAA this season with all they have back and fresh off their run to the Final Four? Can the Hawks get a season sweep by also winning the girls like they did last year, or is this the year Providence Day starts another two-decade long stretch of dominance?
How about Carmel Christian? The boys lost a lot, but they have plenty of talent back and a coach who won’t let them settle.
Charlotte Catholic tied for the Southern Carolinas girls championship and won the boys title outright. Both teams have stars back from last year who can extend that dominance another season.
In all, this year is packed with questions and expectations.
I expect all of the conference title races to be tighter this season than they’ve been in recent memory with one team clearly the favorite.
With so many questions and so much possibility, your team needs you in the stands on basketball nights. Cheer for your team and make it fun, but also remember to keep it classy.
But most of all make the cheering loud enough to give your team that true home-court advantage this season.