Basketball with 11-foot hoops? Exhibition at Hec-Ed on June 16th

Family Sports Life Today is proud to announce today that it will stage an experimental exhibition basketball game at Hec Edmundson Pavilion on June 16 at 1 pm.

Former local basketball stars who played in the Pac 10, WCC, Big Sky and local colleges will compete in a game that will feature an 11-foot hoop in what event organizer Tom Newell, a former NBA and WNBA coach and longtime Northwest Native, calls "a science experiment.''

Coach Newell's interest in announcing this unique endeavor is for players, coaches, officials, fans and participants to observe just how a player would "adapt" to a basket that has been raised 12 inches.

His original inspiration was his father, legendary Coach Pete Newell, who in 1961 elevated the basket to 12 feet and held an exhibition on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, where he was the Athletics Director.

Newell believes the game has become stagnant at all levels with players dominating the ball for a "perfect" slam or individual play that draws attention and perhaps the notice of others who can help the player propel this athleticism into something bigger and better down the road.

So, he asked himself "what if..." and devised a game in which the basket will elevated another foot along with a few other tweaks such as eliminating dunk shots during the exhibition, having a 30-second shot clock, and allowing 3-point baskets only during the fourth quarter. There will be four 12-minute quarters and the rules for fouls will be similar to the professional game.

Newell also believes that basketball has evolved enough athletically that it's time to "experiment" with the height of the rim instead of doing things such as changing the dimensions of the ball, the textures and the seams in an attempt to improve the game.

While this may seem like a drastic alteration, he believes that it is no different than the changes football and baseball have made to adapt to the incredible physical skills of today's athletes.

Newell discusses some examples, such as the NFL moving goal posts and MLB moving fences in ballparks in the podcast episode "The NBA Game:  Time for a Change?" at  He discusses the experience Pete Newell had in his 1961 exhibition in a podcast episode at

Admission to the June 16 game is FREE, with Newell asking only that spectators bring a canned food item for donation to the Northwest Harvest Food Bank of Seattle.

Newell promises a "full" entertainment program for attending fans. Spectators, Coaches and others will be asked to participate as an Observer. If people are interested in participating as an Observer of this event, and providing your input on the evaluation of the shot selections, the Pick and Roll plays, Fast Breaks, Post Play and the Defensive alignments, they can register here.

There will be shooting contests for prizes provided by this event's title sponsor, The Legacy Group, a Bellevue-based Capital, Mortgage and Escrow company. Half court attempts for prizes will also be included in the timeout periods and halftime. There will be live entertainment as well.

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