The most average basketball in the 319?

The Retired Basketball Association is an intramural student-led basketball league that meets on Sunday nights to play pickup basketball games in the south gym.

Zoe Smith, Sports Editor

Elena Garcia

Walking into the south gym on any given day, there will always be West sports teams preparing for their season. Whether it’s an open gym before spring soccer season, the west high dance team preparing for nationals or a basketball practice, the South gym is always filled with athletes in the winter months. What some may not expect when you walk into West on a Sunday night is a gym filled with over 40 upperclassmen boys wearing sweatbands and matching colored t-shirts, yelling at each other as if each pickup game was the state championship. 

Coach Harrison Reimers ’23 cheers after his team scores. (Zoe Smith)

 

The league originally started when a group of senior boys in 2019 decided they wanted to spend more time together in their last year of high school. 

“We decided to create RBA because we were seniors who wanted to make the most of our last year together in high school. A lot of us had played basketball before but we quit because we either were not good or wanted to focus on other things. We decided to create the league and met every Sunday to not only spend time with each other but also compete,” said Zachary Albright ’19.

It took off from there, and now every year, groups of junior and senior boys get together to continue the tradition. 

“The most average basketball in the 319.” reads their Instagram bio, alluding to them being the most mediocre hoopers in eastern Iowa. Amassing almost 120 followers, the team’s Instagram gets a lot of attention, their fans see when they post their draft picks, and the weekly rankings of the teams. There are 6 teams, each headed by a senior boy who “hires” a head coach as well as makes all of the decisions for their teams on who to trade and what the game plan is for each game day.

This isn’t your ordinary pickup game, though, the 48 upperclassmen boys that make up the association take what they do extremely seriously. Although they claim that they have the “most average basketball in the 319” they have some competition a few miles away. A similar club emerged at another Iowa City School, the Liberty High ABL, or Average Basketball League. They have been around for over a year and are very active on social media, amassing a total of 316 followers on Instagram. Across Iowa City, more and more high school students are becoming involved. 

“My favorite thing about RBA was drafting the teams. Whether it was someone getting drafted to a team they did not want to be on, or someone getting drafted too high or way too low it was always a great way to start a new session of RBA.” said Albright. 

There’s no doubt that these leagues are a big event for everyone involved; especially for seniors Ryne Vander Leest, Owen Larson and Ryan Goodman. Listen to West Side Story reporter Elena Garcia’s podcast to learn more about the club.