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Leaving it on the Floor
House Trumps Senate to Claim Legislative Basketball Crown
BATON ROUGE - Things got off to a rough n’ tumble start Wednesday night in the house that Pistol Pete built during the fourth annual “Hoopla,” a basketball game in which the two sides of the aisle square off in the name of charity.
Though things never came to blows, the ref made some calls that created a palpable tension and even an aggressive pass to him by one of the members of the Senate. But the tension did not belie the action on the court. it was basically a lot of old guys scrambling around on the ground.
The Senate started off with the lead, with Jody Amedee (R, Baton Rouge) making a basket. There was a lull in the beginning when neither team was putting anything on the scoreboard. Since some of the players were seniors, the organizers provided ample breaks. The first contest was called, “Roll for ya Dough,” and, as the name implies, it involved two ducktape-bound contestants rolling on a tarp covered in fake money.
By halftime, the Senate was in the lead with a score of 20 to 13. The halftime show featured the gymnastic abilities of the French Quarter Flyers. There were a lot of flips, a few sky-high bounce-passes, and some slam dunks. The main halftime attraction was contestant Johnny shooting a hail Mary shot from the half-court line in an attempt to win a 2012 Jeep Rangler. He didn’t make it, and no one left in a new car.
During the game, the kids sat on the sidelines popping their new balloon animals and cheering for their favorite players. The Senate started out with a big lead, but they must have worn themselves out. The House came back in the second half, with Congressman Cedric Richmond (D, New Orleans) putting on a show just as did at last year's annual Congressional baseball game. He was helped by Rep. Neil Abramson (D, New Orleans), who also put up a lot of points. The Senate showed a lot of fight, but not enough to claim the title for a second year in a row. The House got the trophy, ending the game with a score of 41 to 33.
The NBA pairs up with the state every year to put on the event, and they even bring the Honey Bees with them. The event benefits the Legislators’ Non Profit Charity Fund, a 50(c)(3) that is primarily used to refurbish high school basketball courts and to help the homeless population of Baton Rouge. Attendees can participate in the silent auction to support the event, or they can shell out the big bucks to sit in the special section that featured local food vendors and an open bar.
Rep. John Schroder (R-Covington) was the first member of the House to make a basket last night, which is appropriate considering he’s the guy who decided to start the event in the first place. After the game, NoDef talked to him about how he came up with the idea for the event in the first place.
“We play every Wednesday night, we wanted to try to do something different, so we came up with the idea to start raising money to refurbish basketball courts and a couple years ago, we started doing some things with the homeless folks in Baton Rouge,” he said.
We asked how much the teams practice before the event, and Schroder said that it’s not really about who wins, but you wouldn’t believe that if you saw the Senate last night
“We just sort of have a pick up game on Wednesday nights, but we really don’t practice as you could probably tell from the game,” Schroder said.
Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams agrees. In his closing remarks, he said, “I saw a lot of passes that looked like shots and a lot of shots that looked like passes, but this is a good event.”
Schroder asks that people donate, even if they would rather watch Williams' regular team on the court rather than their elected officials.
“Anybody wants to make a donation to the legislative charity fund, we use that money, we team up with the Hornets, we’ve done [refurbished] three courts around the state, the more money we raise, the more we can do," he said. "We’re really trying to help the homeless community in Baton Rouge with some of their needs.”
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Ian Hoch, Sarah Esenwein, Will Dilella, Chris Rinaldi, Lianna Patch, Phil Yiannopoulos, Cate Czarnecki, Jonas Griffin, Jennifer Abbot, Mary Kilpatrick, Elaina Patton, Mike Horst, Devin Bambrick, Katherine McGuire, Norris Ortolano, Joe Shriner
Michael Weber, B.A.
Assistant Managing Editor
B. E. Mintz
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