The “Underground” basketball scene at UNO: Intramurals provides a good product that stems from the pick-up games at HPER

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Their style is popularly referred to as #A2Gunnin on Twitter. The Wednesday A League intramural team ‘Pike A2’ does that, they gun. The team leads the league in scoring with 69.5 points per game and does a lot of its damage from beyond the arc. Slated against the other Pike team, the two teams battled, but A2 found themselves in a hole at half time.

Then what the gunners had relied on all season began to click, the 3 ball. Back to back hits from down town tied the game, and then put A2 up where they would go on to win, and advance their record to 3-0.

Whether the matchups are inter-fraternal, between different organizations or just two thrown together teams, championship teams are not built on the upstairs stage of HPER, but down below on the main floor courts.

If you’re a regular to HPER you know, but from midday to night there are continuous games until gym closes. Fast pace brawls and Western-like shootouts grace the hardwood as students come and go throughout the day. Some going one and done, others playing until they have no legs.

Beautifully, pick-up games at HPER allow students to get away from the daily workload and pressures of classes or whatever else may be pressing on their mind.

No referees or legitimized score keeping allows for a unique blend of honor mixed with just a right amount of dirty play to keep an edge. A jersey tug here of there or a wrist check never hurt anybody.

The pick-up scene is great not only because it gives students the opportunity stay fit and play sports, but exert competitive feelings that are bottled within. You’ll find many players repping the cut offs of their high school alma mater. Now and again, you’ll come across a player who played low level collegiate ball, but at the end of the day everyone is the same.

On a good day, someone like C.J. Carter will sneak in to hoop and play the type of basketball that made players fall in the love with the sport to start with. A testament that HPER is the purest form of basketball. No politics, no substitutions, no bullshit fouls. Just hard-nosed ball. A style that Kevin McHale and Kurt Rambis would be proud of.

Basketball in some aspects has softened with flopping, an overabundance of block/charge calls, overreaction technicals, but on the courts of HPER a player can step foot and not be afraid to just play.

So what makes the intramural product as good as it is? It stems from the grassroots of pick-up ball and the chemistry that’s formed in the trenches.

It’s more than just basketball. It’s an unspoken brotherhood amongst HPER’s ballers. Dude’s that just ball. Gunners.

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