Photo by Jamie Telander. Members of an informal pick-up basketball league gather in Memorial Auditorium for a scrimage. The group refers to themselves as “noonballers” and attracts a diverse array of Concordia faculty, staff and students as well as local community members.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, a group of men from Concordia and the community get together in Memorial Auditorium to play basketball over the noon hour. They call their weekly pick-up games “noonball”.

Roy Hammerling, professor of religion, is known as the Dean of Noonball.

“I’m the oldest guy, and I’ve been playing noonball since 1992,” Hammerling said.

Hammerling said students will occasionally play, too. Sometimes they are his students, which Hammerling said he enjoys. He said he likes having the opportunity to get to know students in a different way.

“Playing against my students is as much fun as it gets because they don’t expect me to be running up and down the court,” Hammerling said. “I like to be on their team and pass them the ball.”

Hammerling said noonball is not exclusive to Cobbers. Community members are also encouraged to suit up.

Corey Quinton, a local lawyer, has been a noonballer for nearly sixteen years.

“It’s a great opportunity to spend time with the guys and have that fellowship,” Quinton said. “I really enjoy the people here.”

Quinton feels noonball has been so successful, in part, because of Concordia’s great hospitality.

“Concordia embodies the spirit of community,” Quinton said. “It’s such a welcoming place.”

Quinton’s friend and fellow noonballer, Darvin Hamner, agreed.

“[Noonball] is more about the camaraderie than the competition,” Hamner said. “We get disappointed if someone can’t make it for a while because of work or injury.”

Andy Dahl, a director of a software company, said the most interesting thing about noonball is the diverse group of men.

“The disparity of jobs here is really interesting,” Dahl said. “There’s everything from teachers to attorneys to UPS drivers.”

Dahl also commented on the skill levels.

“Everyone is different, but we all just play,” Dahl said. “We had a 17-year-old kid come play once that was vying for a varsity spot at his high school,” he said.

The noonballers don’t plan on letting this tradition cease any time soon.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Dahl said. “It’s wild.”

Hammerling agreed.

“It’s been going on since way before I started [playing],” Hammerling said. “Noonball will keep on for a very long time.”

Jen Swenson

Class of 2014 Majors: English - Writing, Sociology Section: Sports

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