Intramural sports are a large part of any college and Keene State College has a large number of students participating in them — specifically in basketball.
Coordinator of Intramural Sports and Sports Clubs, Nick D’Amato, who has been at this position since July 2014, said, “Basketball is probably our most competitive sport.”
He explained that people generally come into this league with the most experience out of any other sport the college offers.
“It is pretty similar to a high school level depending on team and level they sign up for,” D’Amato said.
In addition, sophomore at KSC David Dunham said the competition varies and that a lot of teams have former high school players, so the competition is good. In contrast to D’Amato, he explained that the skill level is probably one step below high school varsity, probably closer to junior varsity status.
“I think it’s a great program for kids who used to play high school basketball and who don’t play in college,” Dunham said.
Another point made by KSC sophomore Peter Pesano said, “There wasn’t much competition in our division, but in the other division there was pretty good competition so playoffs were good.”
He said it’s not nearly as competitive as high school, at least the varsity level. He continued that he thinks the intramural basketball program is good and well organized. A lot of players have different reasons for competing in these leagues for Dunham it brings him back to his high school days.
“I just play because I used to play in high school and it’s fun. I’m playing with a lot of kids I used to play with or against in high school. We all play on the same team now so it’s fun to play with them,” Dunham said. He also explained that it’s definitely a way to keep busy as well, and said he probably wouldn’t be doing much else if he didn’t play intramurals.
For Pesano playing basketball is just something thats always been apart of him.
“I really like basketball, I’ve played it my whole life and it’s something to do and keep me busy,” Pesano said.
There are two different basketball leagues that the Intramural Department offers: a 3-on-3 in the fall and a 5-on-5 league in the spring. According to D’Amato. 5-on-5 is standard basketball rules, but with 3-on-3, players play on one half of the court and play up to a certain number of points or time limit, whichever comes first.
“The rules are adjusted to make each team bring the ball over the three point line,” D’Amato said. Along with that, D’Amato said it’s nice for the new officials and KSC students to get practice and get use to officiating the game of basketball.
“It’s a nice way to work a popular sport into both semesters,” D’Amato said. He continued that this league is played at end of fall semester when a lot of collegiate and professional basketball is beginning so it’s fresh in people’s minds.
According to Dunham, he likes how it’s organized, unlike pick-up, with the refs and the scoreboards and statistics recording.
“It’s good how organized it is for an activity.” Although, he explained that the officiating isn’t as strong as he’s accustomed to as a former high school player himself.
He further stated, “I wish the season would be a little longer, we only play seven or eight games,” Dunham said. In comparison to other sports, D’Amato said, “Basketball definitely has the most teams.” He explained that teams can sign up for competitive or recreational leagues.
He stated that he could not remember the exact number of teams or players but that this year they had five or six divisions.
He explained that for the most part divisions are made at random. D’Amato, former graduate assistant at Western Kentucky University, said, “At most schools, basketball is going to be the most popular sport.”
He further explained that, at WKU, they would get a little over 100 basketball teams.
With this number of teams comes planning. D’Amato explained that “IMLeagues” does a lot of the scheduling. IMLeagues.com is a site that helps the teams fill out scheduling and team information.
According to D’Amato, they try to plan around team’s availability and hope that at most one game is outside the player’s preference.
“For the bigger sports, I try to schedule the games based on team availability, ”D’Amato said. He further stated that when teams play depends on how they fill out the profile on “IMLeagues” because that site is what organizes the schedule.
In relation to the popular sports, Pesano said that basketball is better and more fun than those other intramural sports he played.
“I think basketball players, in general, like the intramural basketball better than the other sports,” Pesano said.
D’Amato said that the intramural department offers a lot more activities and sports to play.
He explained, “I would like to see smaller sports get recognition.” He further stated that KSC is right up there with the rest of New Hampshire in their intramural sports programs. In addition to basketball, Dunham said he also participates in bowling, softball and dodgeball for fun.
Along with Dunham, Pesano said he played indoor soccer and has played flag football in the past.
Jeff Lunn can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org