They Take Name Game to Extremes

When it comes to playing girls' basketball at Rio Hondo Prep in Arcadia, the Hamptons hold court.

Five of the school's 11 players, including three starters, are named Hampton and all are related.

Pauline and her sister, Marina, are the starting guards. Their cousin, Alana, is the starting center. Alana's sisters, Noel and Charis, are the top reserves.

Coach Randall Johnson said he has played the five girls simultaneously twice this season.

"It presents more problems for me than it does for our opponents," Johnson said. "Whenever I yell, 'Hampton!' they all turn around."

It's come a long way: It was 100 years ago that James Naismith nailed a peach basket to a gym balcony for his physical education class and invented the game of basketball.

Naismith's game originally used a soccer ball and consisted of two 15-minute halves.

Here are some of the original basketball rules written by Naismith in 1891:

"The goals are a couple of baskets or boxes about 15 inches in diameter across the opening and about 15 inches deep. If the field of play is large the baskets may be larger, so as to allow for more goals being made.

"A neat device for a goal has been arranged by Narragansett Machine Company, by which the ball is held and may be thrown out by pulling a string. It is both lasting and convenient."

The Piston-Malone rule: Naismith's rule No. 5 stated: "No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping, or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed; the first infringement of this rule by any player shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or, if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game, no substitute allowed."

Most popular: The Amateur Athletic Foundation reports that basketball is played at more NCAA member schools than any other sport, both by men and women. Football, by way of contrast, isn't even among the top seven sponsored male sports.

Men's basketball was played at all but one of the 293 Division I schools last season, followed by tennis, 273; baseball, 268; golf, 260; outdoor track, 235; indoor track, 214, and football, 195.

Trivia time: What was the No. 1 participant boys' high school sport in the country last year?

Equal time: The top four women's sports among Division I schools last year were basketball, 279 schools; tennis, 278; cross-country, 277, and volleyball, 266. Nine Eastern schools, five in Division I, sponsored ice hockey for women.

Trivia answer: Football had 941,420 high school participants, followed by basketball with 515,644, baseball, 419,015; track and field, 401,350, and wrestling, 230,673.

Equal trivia: What was the top sport participated in by high school girls?

Trivia II answer: Basketball, 387,802, followed closely by track and field and volleyball.

Quotebook: Jay Hilgenberg, center for the Chicago Bears, who were routed by the San Francisco 49ers, 52-14, last Monday night: "Do teams still take us seriously? You mean since Monday night?"

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