Seattle P-I: Players to Test Drive 11-Foot Hoops at Hec Ed

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A story in Thursday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer provides some background on history on the "For the Love of the Game" exposition...

"Most people are unaware of the origins of the 10-foot hoop," Newell said. "The reason why (James) Naismith put the first peach baskets at 10 feet is because that's how high the overhang in the gym he first played the game was. If it were at 11 feet, that's how high they would have been. It was totally arbitrary."

Newell's brainchild (which he calls an "exposition game, because it's not an exhibition -- there's a point I'm trying to prove") was the product of a childhood memory, and sprung from the mind of a man who has spent a lifetime around the game.

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Newell hopes his game can be a springboard to better basketball. He believes that far too many players rely on natural ability and that a move to higher rims would force players to adjust by practicing more on basics.

"No one practices anymore," Newell said. "They play way too many games and don't get a chance to work on fundamentals. This would force them to get back in the gym and practice."

His Bellevue-based Web site, Family Sports Life Today, organized the event and secured funding from several sponsors. He personally selected the rosters for the game, contacting players he felt would be best suited for the conditions. He got ex-UCLA coach Jim Harrick and former Sonics coach Bob Hill to serve as coaches (Hill pulled out because of family commitments and was replaced by Paul Woolpert, coach of the CBA's Yakama Sun Kings).

Read the full story here...

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