As summer wraps up and the kids head back to school, the importance of having kids involved in youth sports has really been on my mind the last few weeks.
Lately, I keep getting texts on all sports for where the quiet parents sit, where the overbearing parents camp out and where the former coaches and players view a game. Every sport has its unique sections.
I get as excited as anybody watching these games. Maybe the COVID-19 pandemic and being couped up in the house takes fans to a new level at kids’ games. But the reality is it is difficult for kids to make it to the next level.
The NCAA releases the estimated probability of competing in college athletics each year. Almost 8 million students participate at the high school level in the United States.
For boys, the best percentage to play in the NCAA is lacrosse at 12.8%, followed by ice hockey at 12.3%. The lowest is wrestling at 3.0%, beating out basketball at 3.5%.
For girls, the best percentage is ice hockey at 26.2%, followed by lacrosse at 12.5%. The lowest is volleyball at 3.9% and basketball at 4.1%. Golf is 6.8% for those who are wondering.
The countless hours and dollars kids and families put in to play team or individual sports is mind blowing. Just think about how things have changed since the days of meeting at the local park to play baseball or basketball.
No matter what the goals may be, it is OK to dream about being a big leaguer. It starts with just trying to play in high school. If you make it to an Ohio High School Athletic Association sport, you have achieved something special. The honor to play for your school.
I have said it a million times. Kids rarely remember a team’s final record, who did what in the middle of a game, or your season stats. Time will always make them better than they really are.
Kids will remember good coaches, valuable life lessons, friendships and learning how to co-exist with people of all different backgrounds.
They will also remember the parent that embarrassed them by getting kicked out.
The bottom line is that kids need to keep moving and being active. Rec or travel league, it does not matter. It really beats playing games all day in front of a computer.
End of the road for former Cav Casspi
Casspi was a first-round pick of the Sacramento Kings in 2009. He also had NBA stops with the Rockets, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Warriors and Grizzlies.
The 6-foot-9 forward played for the Cavs for 108 games over two seasons. Cleveland was his first stop after playing for the Kings. He averaged 7.4 points per game as a Cavalier, just a little under his career average of 7.9.
Casspi ends his career where it started – in Israel. He primarily played for Maccabi Tel Aviv during his two Israeli League tenures (2005 to 2009 and 2019 to 2021), but was loaned to Hapoel Galil Elyon during the 2006-07 season.
He was an inspiration to local Jewish basketball players who knew that his number 18 signifies life in Judaism.
Analyst hopes to earn gold
Here’s a cool Olympic baseball story from Team Israel.
According to Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, former Yale pitcher Eric Brodkowitz had two job offers out of college. One was to pitch for the Israeli national team and the other was to work as an analyst at Goldman Sachs. He took both jobs.
While getting ready for the Olympics, he did both jobs while playing in Idaho. The numbers were stacked against him to play in the Olympics, but hopefully he will be able to figure them out while on the hill in Japan.