Antioch B-team continues tradition

Max Braly Sports Contributor

Antioch B-Team, has never “lost” an intramural B-league basketball game in eight years of competing.

B-Team started in 2008 when five Antioch members wanted to play intramural B-league basketball wearing short shorts. At the time, short shorts were the obligated uniform and only players’ girlfriends spectated. This brand of B-Team lasted until 2010 when the team decided to get serious. OSU alumnus Luke Mireau was brought on as head coach and with him came  fellow alumnus Matt Miranda as his assistant, a pair that started a prosperous coaching tree.

The team continued their success and the fan base grew to about 10 people. Soon it was time for a coaching change and Kenny Ulrich, who would eventually earn the head coaching position, replaced Miranda as Mireau’s assistant. The new coaching duo decided it would be fun to have weekly themes such as “Back to the Barnyard” and “Formal Night.” The tradition has stayed strong through the years, and the fans continued to go to the games.

“We were like the Harlem Globetrotters, except better,” said Kenny Ulrich, former B-Team head coach and current OSU alumni.

The original coaches instilled lasting team values, such as to have fun, put on an entertaining show for the crowd and be silly. And the team is extremely successful at embracing these values. Those themes are still a huge part of B-Team basketball. Last week was slumber party-themed, where a passerby at Dixon Recreation Center would have seen players and spectators dressed alike in pajamas, robes or any other sleepwear.

The game is basketball, but it is not like the intramural basketball one might be used to. Before each game the National Anthem is performed. And once the game begins, there are plays, but they aren’t like the plays coach Wayne Tinkle draws up for the OSU men’s basketball team.

The lone goal of a play is to entertain. One play called “Hero Mode” is when the team designates one player to take on the defending five alone while his four teammates take a knee at half court. It’s likely that the play fails to produce points, but it’s guaranteed to be entertaining.

“We are trying to keep the crowd involved, some plays are designed to score, some are designed for shenanigans. It’s just about reading the crowd and seeing what people want,” said Bryan Kenote, B-Team member and a senior studying computer science.

B-Team’s fanbase is unwavering. Some games can have upwards of 100 screaming fans. Aside from the game, one thing fans have to look forward to, is a halftime show that could rival any Super Bowl. The show changes week to week and can be anything from children’s storybook readings, lively musical performances, or half-court shooting competitions. Anything to keep the crowd amused.

“Back to back to back to back to back champs, that’s our history — there’s nothing more to be said,” says current B-Team head coach Graeme Anderson, a senior studying business information systems.

The B-Team likely will not outscore their opponent, but the point total does not matter — by the end of the game, all the team’s goals are accomplished and that’s how they win every game. B-Team is seriously proud about how they play.