It’s that time of year again. For me (and hundreds of others), the first ten days of August can only mean one thing: Michael Jordan Flight School, i.e. MJ’s basketball camp (back-to-back sessions held on the campus of UCSB). This blog will return on August 13 (after some out of town business a couple days following camp). No doubt, there will be some humorous stories about the kids and their parents - like the following anecdote which I posted after returning from camp in 2007.
Another true story from the Michael Jordan Flight School, a basketball camp held each year at the University of California, Santa Barbara from August 1-10.
As a commissioner of one of the eight leagues, one of my duties is to make myself available to parents of campers (or simply fans who want to observe) to answer questions they might have, e.g. where is my child playing, what time is Michael speaking today, what time is dinner being served, etc.
I’ve been a commissioner for the past five years and I can say I’ve yet to be asked a question I couldn’t answer, or at least put the questioner in touch with the right people. Until a couple weeks ago. Or so I thought.
A parent told me his son was playing on Magic Johnson court #3 and wondered if I could direct him to it. There are 16 courts used at once when games are being played. Six of them are in the Events Center, otherwise known as the Thunderdome. Two are in the Recreation Center, another two are in Robertson Gymnasium, another two are in a building known as the MAC while the remaining four are outdoor courts designated as the Michael Jordan courts 1,2,3 and 4.
When I mentioned this to the camper’s father, he told me his son had called and was certain the youngster said he’d be playing on Magic Johnson Court 3. I asked if he knew the name of his son’s team or that of his coach (two items the coaches explain to the members of their team on the first day as being vitally important to know). He knew neither but was certain of the game’s location. I emphasized there was no such court. Could he try and remember the exact conversation with his son as he’d never have been given that information.
The father had a look of deep concentration, then said to me he specifically recalled his son saying he’d be playing on the MJ #3 outdoor court. I didn’t say a word, just let this information sink in and when it inevitably did, he looked at me sheepishly and said, “You probably can tell I’m a big Lakers fan.”
There’s no better quote for this occasion than Elbert Hubbard’s:
“Everyone is a damn fool for five minutes a day. Wisdom consists of not exceeding that.”