The Lights Out intramural basketball team had one goal.
“It was a championship-or-bust kind of season, we’re not here to mess around.” said Kashan Pirwani, point guard of Lights Out.
Not only would Lights Out go undefeated in the regular season, but they would go on to win an overtime thriller to seal the recreational league championship.
The season for the team went according to the team’s expectations, full of blowouts and mercy-rule victories resulting in games called with five or seven minutes to go.
“We had to work on our team chemistry at first, to see who was gonna be the heart and soul of the team and that driving force,” O'Neil Brown said. “After we established that, it was easy and everything else was flowing from there.”
After storming through the opening rounds of the playoffs, the team says they faced their first challenges in the last three rounds of the playoffs, but eventually found themselves in the championship game.
Balls Deep, who also worked their way through the playoffs, squared off with Lights Out in the championship game, where a 32-20 lead for Lights Out turned into a 34-34 overtime period.
“It was good up until they started coming back, because we have a lot of big personalities on our team and we started to clash, so they picked up the pace” said Maurice Call, a junior who plays for Lights Out.
Pirwani and Brown, who won the competitive league two years ago and play in private tournaments across the south, knew how to handle big moments, such as the game-sealing free throws in overtime of the champion game.
“I knew even though we had the lead going into the second half, we have 18 more minutes to play, just because we’re up 11 doesn’t mean anything.” said Brown.
However, the championship was not the important part of intramurals. The camaraderie of the unit that formed over time is the pride of the team.
“One of my more exciting moments was when the team started to gel,” said Pirwani “Early on when we didn’t really know each other and weren’t playing with each other it was hard to get going, but when everybody started meshing, the ball was moving, and everyone was shooting, it was awesome.”
The team formed from point guard Pirwani’s initiative, who formed the team from friends across campus and fellow competitors from the TRECS. When asked about the driving force behind the team’s creation, Brown referenced Pirwani’s passion for tournaments and constant drive to play.
After the season is over and the team disbands until the next intramurals season, one constant remains: the friendships formed through intramurals.
“I’ve definitely grown a lot closer and formed good relationships with my teammates,” said Brown. “Now when I see them in the 'Rec I say ‘what’s up man’ and we have a conversation.”
Another important factor for the members of Lights Out is the get-away aspect of playing basketball. When asked about the significance of intramurals to his life, Pirwani referenced taking that break once or twice a week to stop doing homework and get on the court with some friends as one of his motivations.
Lights Out were going to get a championship or bust, and they didn’t mess around.