Local coaches speak out about possible shot clock rule

Local Sports

TOPEKA (KSNT) – A big change for high school school basketball is sitting on KSHSAA’s desk.

KSHSAA’s interest in adding a shot clock comes after the rule was nationally approved. Coaches in the area seem to approve of the potential change.

“I’m all for it,” Ty Baumgardner, Topeka high boys basketball coach, said.

“I think the main reason that people want a shot clock is to make the game a little bit more exciting, and to kind of prevent stalling,” Washburn Rural girls basketball coach Kevin Bordewick said.

“It’s definitely going to be different,” Rick Bloomquist, Topeka West boys basketball coach, said. “I think it’s going to be resented a little bit, but I think everybody will adjust to it and it’ll be fine.”

Some say it’s long overdue.

“I thought the shot clock would be in 20 years ago,” Bloomquist said.

Others are purists to the game and don’t want to see it rushed or altered.

“It’s change, which people don’t like because it requires work,” Baumgardner said.

But basketball has seen change before and has always come out of it strong. 

“I remember when we put the 3-point shot in,” Bloomquist said. “Hard feelings with the 3-point shot, and we couldn’t guard a 3-point shot. Not because we couldn’t guard it, we didn’t know how to guard it. We didn’t think we could guard it. Nobody could shoot the three, now everybody can shoot the three.”

Perhaps the biggest concern is affordability for schools.

“I know a lot of schools might be financially strapped to afford the clocks themselves, to install them, as well as pay people to run the shot clock,” Bordewick said.

Technical concerns also rise once the clock is put into place. 

“Train shot clock operators, it’s going to put even more pressure on officials,” Bordewick said. “They have to know if the ball hit the rim, and some of those shots may not hit the rim. When do you reset a shot clock?”

But, all rules are put in place to help the students who play the sport. 

“It’s whatever’s best for the kids, and basically, they need to learn to play with the shot clock if they’re going to play college basketball,” Bloomquist said.

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