Goa Hjem Til America Harvard klassikes'
Go Home to America. Harvard Classics!
If the Harvard Classics basketball team hopes to win its next away games it had better get used to raucous cheers like that from the home team's partisans. The hollers which will seem nonsensical to the hoopsters from Harvard will ring quite coherently in any Danish arena.
It is this kind of stilted foreign diplomancy which Harvard's organized independent basketball team will encounter when it begins a seven day-four game excursion to Scandinavia during spring break.
The teams' itinerary will begin with two games in Copenhagen where the hoopsters will take on the National Denmark team and one of the country's better professional squads. After swallowing a few bottles of Tuborg on the side. Sweden's top two teams will host the American cagers.
The excursion will be funded completely by the students, but cut rate discounts on transportation and ground costs will reduce the overall expenses. In addition, fund raisers are planned for the next few weeks.
Endorsements are prohibited by the University. For instance, Spalding Sporting Goods volunteered to provide warm-up seat suits for the team, but--because the brand name had to be displayed--the Classics could not accept the donation.
The Classics are quick to point out that in addition to playing some basketball they are--in essence--ambassadors from both Harvard and America. "One of the main purposes of the trip is to improve relations with the warm-hearted friendly populace of Scandanavia." jested Dave Kohn '82.
Here on native soil the Classics have been performing quite well. The cagers finished their regular season accumulating a 13-2 record with credited victories over the j.v. squads of MIT. Tufts, Harvard and several local junior colleges.
The Classics were founded eight years ago by a group of students under the watchful eyes of Dr. John Harvey--then the director of the Gen. Ed. program. Harvey organized the team for players who wished to compete in a serious basketball program without practicing everyday--a commitment which every varsity and j.v. hoopster makes.
Classics senior co-captain Glen Mills participated in j.v. basketball his freshman year wanting to be a computer science concentrator. Confident that "there weren't enough hours in the day to do both" --and not desiring to give up organized basketball entirely--he found the Classics perfect.
Thirteen out of the 16 Classics have--at one time or another--undertaken the regimented and rigorous activities of Harvard's varsity or j.v. programs.
Classic Dave Kohn--a former Crimson ballhandler--maintains that "the Classics play strictly for the sheer enjoyment of basketball."
Sophomore Brian Buckelew--another former varsity hoopster--emphasizes that both programs are "fun, but with the Classics you get what you put in, because you're only there when you want to be."
After devoting six years to the Classics. Harvey left the squad when he accepted the dual responsibilities of athletic director and head basketball coach at Grinnell College in lowa. The Classics, unlike Gen. Ed., will continue without him Today. Mills and senior Bill Campbell have assumed the responsibilities of coaching and managing the team.
Last year was a rebuilding season during which the team saw a limited schedule. More noteworthy, it did not participate in what had become a Classic hallmark--the spring adventure to foreign lands. Over the past few years. Harvey and his team voyaged to Puerto Rico. Gibraltar and Cuba. This year's jaunt to Northern Europe is the first one which has been student organized.
Joe Lauer '83, the chief coordinator of the Scandinavia trip, believes that it is that relaxed attitude about basketball which makes the Classics so special. "We are not the most disciplined [or] demanding [team], but we have a lot of fun."
Some Classics' games, however, are more fun than others. One encounter two years ago saw the squad do the obligatory pre-game lay up drill in a rather unorthodox manner: the group dribbled, shot and dunked without the ball for ten minutes. Another such episode had one Classic pull down his teammates shorts in front of hundreds of flabbergasted spectators.
For those who are going to be in Scandinavia and want to catch all the funfilled action during spring break, game time for all contests is 8:00 p.m.