Yesterday was one of the best “sports days” of my life. Not in the traditional sense of winning a big game or seeing my team bring home a championship, but just a pure combination of “cool” stuff that happened for me. As you all know, The Trader Talks Sports Podcast was accepted on both iTunes and Spotify, which is something that I never could have seen coming. On top of that, the North Coast Blue Chips came to Fulbright Middle School, which is located near me in Northwest Arkansas.
Being a huge LeBron fan, I had to go check out the 14 year-old phenom in person. On top of the Blue Chips, this tournament hosted teams like Trae Young Elite, Bradley Beal Elite, and the NYBA Elite. What a show this was, the tournament started Saturday morning, and I was there from the Blue Chips 1st game, until their last that night. I’m sure that you all know about LeBron’s pregame dunk-a-palooza, but Bronny goes through the same routine (to a lesser extent of course), and I even witnessed his first 360 dunk.
As well as James, the Blue Chips have some other incredibly talented players, including one of the best young shooters that I have ever seen in Gabe Cupps and the beast that is Jahzare Jackson. The craziest event though came in the 7:15 game on Saturday night vs the NYBA Elite. In a very close game, the crowd was filled with boos and the Elite were on a big run to close the half. As the half ended, a couple sections in the crowd started to cheer for the Blue Chips. The team ended up coming back to win, and coach Joseph Orukotan had something special planned for the crowd.
As the buzzer sounded, Orukotan gave the crowd the signal to stay put, and then came over to talk to us. “You guys just stay here for a minute, and I’ll talk to the team and we can work something out.” A few minutes later, he said to meet the team outside, and that we could say what’s up to the team on their way to the bus.
It was an unusually cold day in NWA, and it was pouring down rain as well. That didn’t deter the crowd, and there were more than 100 people waiting to meet the future stars. It was a brief meeting, but a great experience for me, and all the other young fans who may never be this close to a collection of star players again. It’s also nice to see a team with that much star power and media coverage giving back to fans when they have no obligation to do so. Thank you to coach Orukotan and the rest of the Blue Chips organization, and keep doing what you’re doing!