The SQ Kings crisp team basketball improved their record to 3-1 with a 77-65 victory over the visiting New Guys coached by Ryan Steer, a man who two years ago wouldn’t reveal his real full name to prisoners.
Ryan Williams Steer announced that he became a sponsor for the program.
“I feared the unknown,” Steer said. “I didn’t know anyone in here, didn’t know what it was like. Then I met the guys, and they’re regular guys. Seeing the humanity in a tough place like this is an uplifting experience. That’s why we keep coming back.”
King guard Tare “Cancun” Beltran said, “This sport means a lot to me. You don’t see me as my crime. I made a bad decision, but that’s why I take so many self-help groups—to find myself. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to play the sport I love.”
Things started bad from the first quarter for the New Guys as the Kings, lead by Demond Lewis’ four steals, capitalized on turnovers. The quarter ended with a buzzer beater from behind the arc shot by Paul Oliver that put the Kings up 32-18.
“It’s Ryan’s coaching debut,” said sponsor and Bittermen coach Ted Saltveit. “If things go bad, it’s because of Ryan’s coaching. If we win, it will be because of my 3 points and 2 rebounds.”
Led by Steer, the New Guys came within 10 by the end of the second quarter, still down 49-39.
The second half was all Kings, as the New Guys’ outside shooting fell short against the zone defense. King Oris “Pep” Williams led his team with 18 points. Joshua Burton added 12.
Steer led the Bittermen with 21 and 11 rebounds followed by teammate Greg Tang with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Robert Mailer Anderson, author of the best-seller Boonville, the indie film Pig Hung and The Death of Teddy Ballgame (a play in book form), played for the New Guys. He scored 9 points and snatched 11 rebounds.
“Combining sports and writing gives me the opportunity to delve into individual and team concepts at the same time,” Anderson said about Teddy Ballgame.