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  • Southwest Preps

Hoop Notes: A Thank You is Warranted

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is from Ben Catley, the Content Editor of Southwest Preps.

The last week of basketball in Southwestern Kansas has been, shall we say, a joy to watch transpire.

We've seen our share of upsets, surprises, nail-biters and blowouts, and hopefully, in some small way, we've been able to give you what amounts to a taste of the action.

That being said, what we have had in the past week is a group of people, who have joined some from the beginning of the season, who have helped make those facts and figures possible to share with you.

In being involved in sports media for the past three decades, what I have learned is you are only as informative as the sources who get you the information.

Over the past couple of weeks, coaches, broadcasters and knowledgeable fans have made information available to me which has proved to be a huge aid in what I do.

It became an even bigger assist on January 11.

On that date, I had a slip-up of sorts. While trying to get in position to call a basketball game in Granada, Colo., my leg gave out as I went up the steps of the bleachers. Down I went, and what has happened since has changed my path for now.

I suffered a six-inch gash below my left knee, and hit two arteries in the process. I lost some blood - there's nothing that will alert you more than watching blood shoot out from your pant leg. As in through my pant leg - and had to be taken to the emergency room to be stitched up.

It's been a month now, and the wound - which is much larger than I could even imagine - is slowly healing. I still have stitches in place, and am currently hooked up to a WoundVAC - which is going to help speed up the healing process.

What it did, though, was limit what I could do. Through this, I have learned a few things - like having food delivered to you that wasn't pizza is possible (anyone who lives in rural areas can relate to how foreign of a concept this may be), how to use crutches (again) and just how much work can go into what I do.

I couldn't sit long enough at a desk without keeping my leg elevated to do much of anything, let alone spend a Tuesday or Friday night in my normal routine. Listening or watching multiple feeds of games, keeping an eye on Twitter and hoping that, by the end of the night, I have all the finals I need.

And that's just for here. Add to that the items I perform on a daily basis for the companies I work for, and you can see that I was anxious when I couldn't sit long enough to do basic tasks.

The biggest help has come from people who didn't even realize how much they were helping me. Every bit of information I can get on a game helps. After all, the best part about what I do for a living is bragging about the accomplishments of our student/athletes.

So to anyone who has given me information this school year ... from the bottom of my heart, thank you!! It has meant more now than ever.

What I would like is for coaches or managers - whomever is responsible for releasing information about games - to please send it along to me by e-mail, at I can write recaps all day, and my goal is to have recaps for every game played. That only happens with help.

I had to also learn a lesson - not everyone needs the information immediately. I used to sit and write until late at night, and continue to dig for scores. Now, I have learned that, sometimes, you're better off writing at 6 am with a clear mind than late at night, when most may miss the original share on their Newsfeed.

I wanted to be able to get around to different areas as well - I was scheduled to go to Johnson on the Tuesday following my accident, but I could barely get around at home, let alone be somewhere I haven't been before to broadcast a game - however, that's been slowed for a while. I'm hoping when the would fully heals to be able to get out to baseball and softball games, at the very least, this spring.

But that's then, this is now.

Again, thank you to all who have helped get me information so far this year, and I hope you can continue it, so I can brag about as many kids as possible in Southwestern Kansas.

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