Posted On: 02/10/20 9:16 AM
bifurcation that has long-thriven within the Oklahoma high school basketball community — encompassing spectators, programs, athletes and even media — may have met a catalyst for change and, ultimately, the predecessor to its remedy Sunday afternoon.
Alas, two of the premier athletic programs in the state — Team Griffin of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League and Oklahoma Run PWP of the Under Armour Association — announced their official consolidation and, effectively, truce at 3 o’clock Sunday.
The truce being, of course, a hopeful restorative to the torn social fabric involving two regions: Tulsa and Oklahoma City; both of whom have exhibited an equal candor to prove its paramountcy above the other. In unexpected fashion, the leader of each town and the states’ two shoe teams have acted, potentially, as a pseudo-treaty for their advocates to unify and focus towards an ideal goal: Oklahoma superiority on a national stage.
I have been a great fan, spectator and often critic of both programs; I have numbered and expressed those passions with my friend, Rod Thompson, the founder and former program director of PWP.
Thompson has done a great deal for the state, and his passions for mentoring and extending the platforms of in-state athletes far eclipse my own or many others. He has long-shared the belief that, rather than quarreling with one another, the two sides should agree to become a national superpower.
However, in this truce lies one potentially grand, outlasting positive and enumerable potential harms; tallied in exact by the athletes to whom are involuntarily swamped-in to the other in the absorption.
Fears have mounted that, precisely, each player who is shifted to the B-Team would have otherwise seen more looks on the premier shoe circuits. Those players will effectively lose the careful eyes of numerous coaches and, hence, lose opportunities for scholarship money.
Do not misjudge my affinities; should the intentions of the absorption come to fruition, I have no hesitation in judging it and event of the most fortune. I endorse the future of Oklahoma’s coming talent.
However, for it to be fortuitous, each hand has to be on deck and, most importantly, the ultimate goal expressed by the dual-leadership of Thompson and Team Griffin director, Taylor Griffin, must not be drowned, disregarded or compromised.
A swift altruism must be enacted for the Griffin and PWP athletes to slide into the single alias, unless Team Griffin is prepared to welcome animosity. The coaching staff for both programs must be prepared to nip any tension from the tip-off and continue to cooperate with those passions for summers to come.
If the parties involved carefully and diligently champion the intended cause, Team Griffin could be the future of basketball in the Midwest with Oklahoma as its fulcrum.
All of Oklahoma.
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