The Setting: The Big Red basketball team plays its home games at Pinnacle Bank Arena, PBA, in Lincoln Nebraska. The team calls the arena “The Vault” because it surrounds something valuable; Nebraska’s home court. It’s the Cornhuskers job to protect that home court.
When infiltrators invade PBA, they hope “snapwear” will do its thing. (“Snapwear” happens when, during a game, basketballs consistently go through a net; it causes a snapping sound and discourages the other team.)
The Cornhuskers strive to protect their home court from this malady.
To initiate a defense for “snapwear” Nebraska relies on two defensive specialists, 5’9″ sophomore Benny Parker and 6’7″ junior David Rivers. The two coordinate their ball-hawking talents to wreak havoc among intruders.
By defensively harassing these would be disruptive elements, the gate-crashers won’t have a clear shot at the basket and there’s less chance of “snapwear”.
The Results: The work ethic of the Big Red’s hassle firm of Parker’s and River’s inhibits the fluidity of their adversaries. Commenting on the two, Nebraska’s administrative coordinator Teddy Owens said, “I mean, if you had to define people that represent the values Nebraska embraces the most, they would be Benny Parker and David Rivers.”
In the same vein, teammate Shavon Shields said, “Getting stops, owning the paint, and priding ourselves on defense has brought us success.”
Parker and Rivers: Coach Tim Miles commends Parker’s aggressiveness, quickness, and doing what’s necessary to help his team. Parker’s fan base tagged him “Energizer Benny” because he has one game speed, which is full throttle.
Rivers is a defensive assassin, about who teammate Walter Pitchford said, “If you ever want a leader by example, David’s it. We’ve all learned so much just watching David do what he does. He totally buys into the system and totally buys into the team.”
Parker and Rivers share another positive trait; they respond to adversity in a productive manner.
At the end of last season, Coach Miles told Parker that if he wanted more playing time his ball-handling skills needed fine-tuning. Thus, Parker spent the off season daily practicing individual ball-handling drills. As a result he now enjoys extended playing time.
This year, Rivers found the wrong side of Coach Miles because of his lack of rebounding. Consequently, for a few games, Coach Miles found him a cozy seat on the bench to think about his deficiency. But, when given the opportunity to play again, Rivers responded with rebounding fervor. Now, along with his other game-winning attributes, Coach Miles finds it unprofitable to regulate him to the bench.
Neither Rivers nor Parker lamented about their liabilities; they simply overcame them and, in the process, fine-tuned their assets. This attitude is not coached-up; it stems from an inner drive and a desire to succeed.
Go Big Red.