written by Sohini Ashoke
During Flex Time in the last few weeks, junior Matthew Anthony and sophomore Akhil Kumar have hosted intramural basketball with the goal of establishing a competitive pastime which allows students to make the most of an off-season sport. Both active members of the Palo Alto Youth Council, Anthony and Akhil used the existing infrastructure to create their Flex Time activity.
Anthony describes the purpose and goal behind intramural basketball. “We found a lot of students who weren’t utilizing Flex Time so we wanted to give them a fun way to use those 50 minutes,” he said.
The two have come a long way in improving this event at Gunn, as it has previously been attempted but didn’t succeed. “We thought of the past intramural basketball attempts for Gunn and kind of how they had failed, so we kind of implemented it like that,” Anthony said. According to Kumar, the work to set up intramural basketball was challenging and took many months.“We first came up with it in Palo Alto Youth Council by talking to our advisor Jose [Perez-Sanchez], talking with school officials,” Kumar said. Creating the interworkings of the tournament was no easy task: Kumar and his group worked many months to get everything set up. “We spent since the beginning of the school year in our subcommittee trying to get it together and contact all the people,” Kumar said.
A member of the winning intramural basketball team, sophomore Sooyoung Yoon feels that intramural basketball was a memorable experience. “The experience was great not just the winning part but being able to play with my friends and having fun in general,” Yoon said.
Throughout the tournament, sophomore Connor Page and his team faced many challenges that required good teamwork. “The toughest challenge we faced was the team Hidden Phoenix, because they took a late lead and it was pretty tough. We had to choose one person to put all of our faith into, and [sophomore] Jake Humble gave us that last point for the win,” Page said.
Humble also participated as part of the winning team, and attributed his success to his motivation to succeed. “We wanted to go out and prove that we are the best three-on-three intramural basketball team that this school has produced, and we wanted to go out and have a good time,” Humble said.
According to sophomore Michael Oh, the competition ran very smoothly. “It [intramural basketball] was very organized and I highly encourage other people to do it next year because the more people we have the more competition there is, and the more fun it is,” Oh said.