The following post (& attached comments) is all about a basketball team built from a great group of guys who (originally) all worked together at a large department store in Knoxville, & then later morphed into a crew of good friends & allies who either met at a weekly Church Street Methodist run, or through working together at Belk. .
Belk Kingdom History:
I created a basketball team when I worked at Belk. As of 2 weeks ago (*Late November of 2009), I no longer work for Belk, but still play on the team… since it’s my team. Most likely I’ll disband it next year and start anew. Or just retire it altogether.
BK was born out of necessity… a strong desire to play some organized basketball. New to the area with very little contacts, I was growing tired of roaming the random neighborhood streets and empty gyms of Knox and Blount County looking for pick-up games, so I found a city recreational league, signed up, and began recruiting players. That was four years ago.
The original Belk Kingdom (BK I) was culled from the (extremely) weak employee pool at the store itself. I was able to attain sign-up money from the store manager, as well donations from the prospective players. I believe that year I paid out $200 alone.
There was me, Carter, Cory, Vincent, Ruben, Freddy, Matthew, Brandon, and a couple other blurred associates and faceless managers. I had high, unrealistic hopes for the 1st season.
I soon found out that the only players that were on a competitive, healthy level were myself, Carter, and Cory… and maybe Vincent. But even with these guys (& myself), the team sucked pretty bad. I don’t believe the first year crew broke .500, or the second year team. Belk Kingdom III did, just barely, due to a pretty good post-season tournament run.
Throughout the past 3 years, I managed the squad through a lot of subtle tweaking, hopeful adding, and much-needed subtracting. I tried hard to keep the team all-Belk, but at times throughout some of the more difficult stretches of the 3 different seasons, I knew that, if Thy Kingdom was going to be competitive with other teams in the league, I would need to look outside the store for better, more functional players.
This year, this new season of Belk Kingdom IV, I finally went outside the store for talent. *I did this mainly because I knew I was leaving the company & I didn’t care anymore about the “integrity” of the team’s composition.
Like an NBA GM with his eyes set firmly on the prize of a successful season and powerful team, I brought in 2 studs I met on the outside. Lance, a truly talented point guard, & Adam, a hulking power forward of a man and one of the best finishers I’ve ever had the privilege to play with, were my off-season acquisitions. Needless to say, I have some pretty lofty expectations for the team this year.
My goal was to have Cory, Carter, myself, Adam, and Lance starting, and ending… maybe an odd duckling here and there for foul relief or what-not.
The first game is tonight. It’s against an unknown crew called HOMESTEAD. Hopefully my core training through trailrunning will reveal itself and the game will be an exercise in clear-cut domination.
FOR BKIV SEASON UPDATES,
DIRECTLY BELOW THIS POST