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At the Mike
Basketball, basketball and some more basketball
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Special to the Tribune

The dreaded parent-teacher conference. I wasn’t fond of them as a kid. I always received good grades - it was other things that got me in trouble.

I think just about every grade school teacher I had as a child told my parents I tend to talk a little too much in class. I don’t think they were right, but hey, what can you do.

I even had one of my brother’s teachers in high school complain to my parents about me at a conference while I was still in grade school. He told me Duke was going to win the national title in basketball that year so I started calling him Duke. Apparently, he didn’t like that.

The past two years Great Bend High School has gone with the student-lead conference approach. A student is paired with an instructor in their freshman year – their advisory teacher. They keep that same person all four years. That is the person you go to for conferences that your student helps lead.

This kind of forms a bond between the student and advisory teacher. In my daughter’s case, Ms. Strickland is that person. She has shown a genuine interest in Katelyn. I am sure she is not the only instructor to do this.

You can see their individual teachers if you like but don’t have too if you do not wish. I really like the system. Not only has attendance to conference increased tremendously, it gives you a bonding between family and advisory teacher. Even if you only see that person twice a year.

Prep thoughts

The basketball post season is now real. Wednesday was the release of the brackets by the KSHSAA for the smaller classes. There is no longer, if we do this, then this. It is set. Teams now know who they will play. Smaller classes start sub-state play Monday and Tuesday. Larger classes will not be seeded until after this weekend’s games and play at the end of the week.

One of the toughest brackets in the state will once again in Class 2A. Central Plains and St. John highlight the boys’ bracket but all eight teams have a .500 or better record. Medicine Lodge (10-10) is the eighth seed and get the prize of 2A top-ranked team Central Plains to open play. 

Another loaded sub state will be the 3A Lakin boys, where Larned is the third seed at 13-7 and will host No. 6 Southwestern Heights (10-9). Seven of the eight teams are above .500 with the No. 1 the defending state champion Scott City (15-5).

The Hoisington girls will get a first round home game against Norton as the No. 3 seed in the Norton 3A Sub-State. The boys will head to God’s country and Beloit for opening round play.

Former athlete/coach update

It is always fun to check up on Antowine Lamb. His story is a great one for sure. From living in a home without electricity his sophomore year in high school in Topeka while his mother and step-father were in jail to playing pro basketball.

This season Lamb will play for the Kenitra AC in Morocco. It will be the first without his mother. She set her life straight and was drug free for more than 10 years before passing away last October. 

It will be Lamb’s 3rd team since starting his profession career in 2014. He played a season in Nicaragua and one in Switzerland. In his most recent season in Switzerland he averaged 23.3 points and 12.4 rebounds over 15 games for the BCKE Wallabies in the country’s top league.

Lamb was a 2008 graduate of Barton and a 2010 graduate of McPherson. Then spent four years working odd jobs trying to get into pro basketball before having his dream realized. 

Around campus

Chances are if you have been a student at Barton, worked at Barton or just spent any amount of time on campus you know Kathy Boeger. While her main title may read as an instructor and coordinator of business her efforts go far beyond that.

Boeger heads a couple student groups, that, in turn, helps numerous individuals. She is the sponsor for Barton’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society and the Community Service Organization (CSO). Those groups are involved in numerous service projects from drives for food and clothing to volunteering for local churches and organizations in Great Bend to volunteering on campus.

She is also fond of saying the phrase Barton Proud. It should probably be the other way around – Barton is proud of her. Good work, Kathy.

And finally

I like my post-season basketball.

Most of you who read this or know me are aware I am a big KU fan. I suffer through football but love basketball season. I could tell you every place I was when KU’s season ended going back as far as the 80’s. Very seldom have I returned to any of those places for the NCAA tournament.

I know, that is pretty sad. Especially when I get in trouble for not noticing when my wife and daughter get their hair done.

It was one post-season that I met my good friend Steve Webster. ‘The Miracle on 19th Street’ season for Great Bend High School. The Panthers, I believe were winless that regular season. Steve was doing the GBHS play-by-play. I was in living in Hays, covering the Hays High Indians, the top seed that year. 

Great Bend pulled the upset at the Salina Central gym and eventually went on to the state tournament. Steve and I would become good friends just a few years later.

I have even received text messages at church when it comes to post-season basketball.

One year while SID at Barton I had to miss the women at the NJCAA tournament third place game. My daughter was getting baptized at the marathon services at St. Rose here in town the night before Easter. 

To keep peace in the family, I skipped the basketball game. But thanks to Sacha Sanguinetti I was kept up to date through texts, which I read very discretely in my pew.

I think God understood.