Basketball Hall of Fame

On the drive home from CT we stopped off at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.  I’d been before during a previous trip to CT (~25 years ago?), but it seemed to have changed a lot from what I vaguely remembered.

As we were about to leave, there was an announcement that the basketball courts were being closed to set up for a “Legends of the Game” presentation by Felipe López.  I’d never heard of him, so we decided not to wait for the presentation.  However, as we were leaving, Lopez and his kid were just being dropped off by their driver, and we said “hi” as he walked into the building.  Our curiosity was piqued…so we ended up deciding to go back inside for the presentation.

Felipe was interviewed by one the Hall’s staff for ~ 20 minutes and then was slated to do some instruction for the kids.  The staff suggested some dribbling tips, but Felipe quickly turned it into a game of Knockout.  Finn was struggling to get the ball up to the rim on his turn, so Felipe picked him up to dunk (see the 0:25 mark in the video below).  Elliot had a decent shot of actually winning Knockout, but we convinced him to drop out and get in the autograph line when it started to form.  As the boys were posing with Felipe for a photo after the autographs, Felipe joked: “Do you know the difference between these two [pointing to Finn and Elliot]? This one can dunk [pointing to Finn]!”  We all got a chuckle out of that one.  Elliot had caught the attention of the Hall staff member too who complimented him on his shooting skills and asked if he played much.  Lisa thanked Felipe for giving a shout-out to his school teachers during the presentation.

Felipe (originally from the Dominican Republic) was a big high school and college star (see a summary of honors and accomplishments on the autograph paper below) but not so much in the NBA.  He played in NYC and the Big East (instead of one of the college conferences that get more of my attention: ACC and SEC), so maybe that explains why I’d never heard of him (or maybe those mid- to late-90’s years were ones where I paid less attention to basketball).  Anywho, he ended up being a charming guy and quite interesting to hear speak…so we were very glad to have stayed around to see/hear him.  Here are photos of the boys with Felipe and of the autograph, some video of Knockout, and a few more photos:

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Video of Finn and Elliot playing “Knockout” at the Basketball Hall of Fame

A few more pictures:

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The boys know who Larry Bird and Magic Johnson because we’ve watched part of a documentary about them on HBO.

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