Experimental game raises the basket and questions

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The below article was published nationwide describing the "For the Love of the Game" basketball exhibition with 11-foot hoops.  You might have seen it on ESPN, Yahoo Sports, MSN, or your local newspaper.

SEATTLE (AP) -- Brayden Billbe caught the pass on the block. He drop-stepped and turned to dunk, just as he usually would.

Nope, not this time. Not with the basket a foot higher.

"All of a sudden, I'm like, 'Oh, no.' So I flip it up there and it rolls off the rim," Billbe said. "I felt like an idiot."

There were a few of those moments on Saturday during an exhibition basketball game featuring 11-foot rims. Organized by former NBA assistant Tom Newell -- son of former coach and acclaimed big-man instructor Pete Newell -- the exhibition surely won't be remembered for the quality of play, but perhaps for sparking a change.

"I think this will open the professional league's eyes, where they may experiment with it, give it a serious look," said Jim Harrick, the former UCLA coach who was coaching one of the teams.

For the record, Saturday's exhibition ended with a 90-60 victory for the "gold" team. Billbe, a 6-foot-11 center who played at American University, scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

But the goal for Newell was to examine how the game was different with the taller rims. Was there more passing and spacing? Was teamwork at more of a premium and less of a focus on individual play? Was a challenge presented to the players, all of which had some college experience, and could they adapt?

The answer seemed to be a resounding yes.

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Full article is available here.

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