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North Carolina beat Gonzaga: what does this mean for basketball?

Posted on: April 28th, 2017

When nurturing the next generation of sporting talent, it pays to provide them with the best equipment and facilities that are currently available. Ideally, courts, pitches and games areas will be built to international standards and at the very least will inspire safe, fun and competitive play. However, great sporting venues alone do not make great sporting talent; for that you will need healthy competition on a regular basis.

Historically our American cousins are the best at investing in their young athletes, and enthusiastically coaching them to success in national and international sporting events. It was no different when the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Men’s Basketball came to a head on 3rd April 2017, at the University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona.

A true underdog story played out for the 2016-17 season, making it a historic year for the national championship. The North Carolina Tar Heels became the National Champions after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs 71-65. However, it was Gonzaga that made the game such a nail-biting finish.

Gonzaga were swallowed up by a wave in those final 30 seconds. – Mark Few, Head Coach Gonzaga Bulldogs

The team were not expected to make it anywhere near the final four teams, having qualified for the NCAA tournament every year for the last twenty years and not once making it to the final four. Despite being on the back foot, Gonzaga became the first West Coast team to advance that far since San Francisco in 1957. That it came so close is surely a disappointment, but Head Coach Mark Few hopes they will follow through on current momentum for the 2017-18 season, with a strong and invigorated team.

[It] is a temporarily crushing blow right now, but I’m hoping and knowing that perspective will come with time. – Mark Few

For British audiences, the passion that Americans have for a college-level (university-level) sporting event, can be confusing. British followers of American sports like ice hockey (NHL) and American football (NFL), envy this culture and rightly so.

Investing in young people brings out their talents, and in no other subject is this more observable than athletics and team sports. The enthusiasm of America, and the NCAA’s investment in college basketball, is an effective model when you compare the USA’s olympic medal table against its closest competitors. A total of 1,022 golds in 27 games, placing the USA first. Russia trails in second place with 440 golds.

Overall, the NCAA 2017 final and the unlikely semi-finalists, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, show that small teams can achieve great things with sweat, teamwork and determination. Let’s take a leaf out of America’s book, and get behind our young athletes when they show an interest in advancing to the next level of their favourite sport. With the right backing and a little enthusiasm from their peers, they’ll achieve great things, no matter what the result.

Charles Lawrence have supplied and installed the finest quality sports courts and pitches for over 40 years. Our work has seen play by school children and olympic athletes alike, and both have enjoyed equal levels of fit and finish, in other words: only the best. Our friendly team specialise in outdoor tennis courts, basketball courts, Multi Use Games Areas and synthetic football pitches that give many years of reliable service. Should your sports area need sprucing up, we’ll  cover that too, with our comprehensive maintenance and service package. Contact our friendly team today – they will be happy to help.  

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