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Editor at Large

An ode to playground basketball

Third Street Park in Stroudsburg.
Third Street Park in Stroudsburg.

There’s no better recreational game than pickup basketball or playground hoops.

All you need are a court, basketball, decent weather and three or more other players.

Yours truly learned the game – not very well – at Greider Park in Lancaster. The main court had rims that tilted downward a bit, so when you went up for a layup, you could just about place the ball into the rim, as well as hang onto the rim.

We thought we were high flyers.

Decades later, these old legs are still playing the game – and still not very well. But it’s not about the wins and losses and near-dunks and mid-range jumpers and rim-to-rim fast breaks anymore.

It’s about the exercise and getting outdoors and every now and then surprising a young buck with a basket or a blocked shot.

I now haunt Third Street Park in Stroudsburg and, occasionally, Dansbury Park in East Stroudsburg. I’m proud to say that these parks are still busy with pickup basketball – whereas some other hoop courts these days are more deserted than the Sixers’ win column the past several years.

Yes, playground basketball has become more social and often the hoopers prefer to play – forgive them, Lord – half court instead of full court.

But at least they’re out there playing the greatest game.

Who’s got winners?

RANDOM SHOTS AND SECOND THOUGHTS:

-- Whatever happened to Megyn Kelly? Apparently, even missing persons is now looking.

-- For what it’s worth: 99.4 percent of people look at themselves when they pass by a mirror in a clothing or department store.

-- There’s a bar so tough that there’s a two-tat minimum to enter – and at least one of them has to be visible.

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