Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pete Newell (1915-2008)

The world basketball community mourns the passing of Pete Newell this past Monday.

For those of you who don't know about him, Coach Newell left his mark in many ways, including an NCAA Championship in 1959, coaching the USA Olympic Team to a Gold Medal in the 1960 Olympics, and developing the now world famous Pete Newell's Big Man Camp and the more recent Pete Newell Tall Women's Basketball Camp where 4's and 5's come to improve their game.

As Bill Walton said, "He was a caring, loving, selfless man who was a coach of not just basketball but life.

May he rest in peace and may his teachings live on in the players and coaches he touched.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Don't Stretch Like Your Grandmother

AP Photo/Kevin Sanders

A recent article in the New York Times' "Play" magazine section gave a good overview about how out of date warm-up stretching practices are at all levels of sport, including basketball.
The article, available at
discusses the importance of using a dynamic, movement-based warm-up routine to improve performance and (possibly) reduce the risk of injury.

Want to learn some good pre-game and pre-practice stretches?
Take a look at this video:
Even though it's done as a tennis warm-up, many of the stretches are useful before playing basketball.

While static stretches (like the ones the Hot Pink Grannies team is doing above) are great to do after practice and games, those in the know are incorporating dynamic routines. Now that you know, be sure you warm up the "new" and improved way.

Better be ready. Those Grannies got game.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cipro No-Go

Recently, the Federal Drug Administration added an important warning to the prescribing information for ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic commonly used to treat sinus, bladder, and other infections.

The warning, available at (page 10), states that the use of ciprofloxacin (as well as other drugs called "fluoroquinolones") is "associated with an increased risk of tendinitis and tendon ruptures in all ages".

This risk is further increased for older patients (usually >60 years), those taking corticosteroid drugs, and those involved in "strenuous physical activity" (which includes playing basketball).

What does this mean for you?

Ciprofloxacin, while an effective antibiotic for the treatment of some infections, may also increase your risk of a tendon injury. Since young basketball players are already at an increased risk for injuries to tendons at the knee and heel, there's no reason to further increase your risk for injury by taking this medicine if another equally effective antibiotic is available.

This only applies to medicines that you swallow. Eye drops or ear drops are not associated with an increased risk of tendon injuries.

So the next time your doctor prescribes ciprofloxacin or another fluoruquinolone antibiotic medicine to treat an infection, remind them that you don't want to increase your risk of tendon injury and see if they can prescribe another medicine.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hoops at the House

No, I didn't vote for Barack Obama because he plays basketball, but it didn't hurt.

You can learn a lot about a person by the way they act on the court.
Are they a good teammate? Do they have a shoot-first or pass-first mentality? Are they more interested in their own stats than winning? Do they yell at their teammates (or themselves) when things go wrong?

Michelle Obama, our new First Lady, knew this when she asked her brother to report to her how the then-Mr Obama acted when they played pickup ball. The report then was good, and the rest is history.

Now that President-Elect Obama is heading to Pennsylvania Avenue , chances are good that there will be a lot more ball played at the White House. And if they want to play some real pickup (even 4v4) they'll need to get rid of the horseshoe pit and add some length (and another rim) to the the old White House basketball court .

Looking forward to hearing more about the pickup games to be played there and, if asked, will be happy to serve my President (and country) if he needs 1 more for a game.