When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

01 December 2007

Quantum Hoops

There's a new documentary out, "Quantum Hoops," about the Caltech men's basketball team.
Caltech, as a school, simply does not have the wherewithal to take sports seriously. For these students, basketball will never be anything more than a diversion. The basketball coach can try to recruit players, but he can't expect any breaks from the scary high standards of the admissions office.

As a result, a fair chunk of the basketball team (last season, all five seniors, for instance) did not even play high school basketball. The Caltech basketball team has more valedictorians than high school basketball players.

But they play real deal NCAA Division III basketball.

And, predictably, they get killed.

Night after night. Week after week. Year after year.

At the time this documentary was made, the team had not won a game in 21 years.


What we are used to as college basketball is really basketball as a college major, or in many cases instead of college. Not basketball as an activity.

The version at Caltech puts stuff like health, education, and love of the game first. I can't speak for basketball, but I think a lot of colleges would be better off with that kind of athletic presence on campus. Maybe all the professional development of basketball players should take place somewhere else -- somewhere that is not supposed to be about academics.

ESPN: Nerd Squad: The Tale of Quantum Hoops

via kottke

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