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IMBL Offers Informal Competition During Winter Sports

Amir McFerren ’24 Sports Editor Connor Tomasulo ‘24 Sports Editor Arielle Rieder ‘23 Assistant Sports Editor
Hopkins’ Intramural Basketball League (IMBL) kicked off shortly after the winter sports season began, offering a less intense yet competitive alternative to Varsity and Junior Varsity sports. 
IMBL is made up of six teams (Papatacos, Cra-Zs, Deminators, Tanimals, Tide Turners, and Fightin’ Fearons) which compete in regular-season and playoff games. Demi Adeniran ‘23, captain of the Deminators, said, “A typical game consists of four quarters that are nine minutes in length, totaling a 36-minute basketball game.” Tanimals captain Tanner Lee ‘23 said that games are played “on a smaller court than normal” and “substitutions can only be made between quarters and there are no timeouts.”

A typical IMBL game is turbulent and heavily focused on offense. Tide Turners captain Egan Turner ‘23 said, “A typical game is a little hectic, for sure. Since there’s three games going on in a small space, the gym can become a bit of an echo chamber.” Lee added, “Games are usually very hectic, with lots of fast-paced play, turnovers and erratic shot attempts.” Kate Papadatos ‘23, captain of the Papatacos, said, “Typical games consist of a lot of subpar basketball skills and lots of laughs on my team.” Cra-Zs captain Zacc Edwards ‘23 said, “[A typical game involves] a lot of missed layups, a surprisingly small amount of fouls, but you also see some insane three-pointers and layups. Pretty chaotic.” Papadatos added, “My favorite moment on my team was probably when [Moustapha Gassama ‘23] headed the basketball into the basket and scored us two points.” Papatacos player Gray Fisher ‘24 said, “A typical game is fast paced with a lot of scoring. Defense doesn’t usually happen, so it is common for scores to be high.” Cra-Zs guard Jay Maroney ‘24, said, “Most of the time, it isn’t too serious, and we prioritize fun on our team. If a teammate wants to take a half court shot, why not? We all know this is casual, so the game environment is really positive and stress free.”

The appeal of IMBL is simple; Fisher said “I joined IMBL because I just really like the game of basketball and I thought it would be fun to play without joining an actual team.” Tide Turner Leila Hyder ‘24 said, “I joined IMBL because I still wanted to play basketball in the winter, but I didn’t want to play on a serious level, and I didn’t have time after school to commit to a sport.” She continued, “I thought IMBL would be fun to do with some friends, and a good way to interact with other kids in my grade and the grade above.” Maroney said, “I joined IMBL because basketball has always been my favorite sport to play, but unfortunately I’m really short, so competitive basketball was never in the cards.” He continued, “I was excited for another opportunity to play organized basketball, especially with friends.”

The origins of IMBL are somewhat unclear. Commissioner Daniel Levy said, “I am still not sure when it started but know it at least dates back to 1978 when the commissioner was a man named Austie Albert.” He continued, “I became commissioner seven years ago when [previous commissioner] Sandy MacMullen retired because it seemed like a lot of fun and something that I would enjoy doing.”

It’s now a prominent institution in Hopkins informal sports. Rohan Kalaria ‘24, a player for the Tanimals, said, “The central elements of IMBL games are enjoyment, competition, and team bonding.” Turner added, “IMBL is such an important part of Hopkins because it allows for friendly competition and bonds the senior class.” Fightin’ Fearons captain Maggie Fearon ‘23, said, “IMBL is an important part of Hopkins because it allows people to get to know and create bonds with people they wouldn’t usually hang out with at school. It is also fun having something to look forward to at the end of the day.” Commissioner Levy said, “I think it combines people with all different skill levels with very few uber-talented basketball players, so it allows people to not worry about being perfect and just play. It is a low-stakes environment but still is fun because of the competitive aspect.” He finished, “I think that anything that teaches people to not take themselves too seriously is a good thing!”
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