Monday, September 1, 2008

Sharing a basketball trade secret in the Olympic Spirit

Along with a billion other riveted viewers, it was with great interest that I watched Yao Ming ceremoniously open the first game versus the United States by zinging through a three-pointer. During a break from the game, the T.V. featured a brief documentary of how popular basketball has become in China and as a lifetime basketball aficionado, this also enthused me.

With the economic development of China, incorporating thousands of new basketball-courts into the land, I would like to point out an observation from the viewpoint of aspiring school-ground players. Every bouncing kid knows that when they come upon the court, if the net is torn or missing, it takes some of the wind out of their sails. With the great expense of new courts, poles and baskets, the net is usually first to go bad. And with the nets gone, children will often go off to play a different sport.

Nylon nets attached to heavily used basketball hoops, often wear out within a few weeks. A way to remedy this is to soak the net in boiled linseed oil for a day and then let it dry out for another, before hanging it from the basket. Preparing a net in this way increases its life tenfold. Soaking a net in linseed oil sometimes shrivels it up a bit; requiring maintenance staff to shoot swishes for stretching it back out.

In this manner, the workers will have achieved what many amateur basketball players dream of, as they will then be receiving pay for shooting baskets!

In the course of writing this, I discovered some other solutions:

http://sporting-goods.pricegrabber.com/basketball-court-accessories/m/37652299/

http://www.empiresnowboards.com/B000MKPZPS/Cablenet-Glow-in-the-Dark-Basketball-Net.html

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