The head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols was on Letterman tonight,
and she said that when she was growing up, she had three brothers and
they had a full court gym in the hay loft. Wouldn't that be very
expensive and beyond the reach of all but the wealthy?
She also said she got started in basketball in the 3rd greade when the
principal of her school asked her to stay after school because there
weren't enough players for the team. She was 5'9" in the third grade!
She didn't play, just filled out the roster, so I'm thinking this was
the high school team. ??
On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 23:44:09 -0500, Richard J Kinch
Oh, maybe youre right and she was being funny. She was totally
deadpan and I'm often a sucker for that. \\
She said that was how she got started on basketball, and I would have
thought she would just say a driveway and a hoop.
I didn't think the floor in a hayloft would be anywhere near stiff
enough or flat enough to play even schoolboy basketball.
I also didn't think the headroom in most barns would be enough,
especially for a long shot.
Why would you think that? A loft was designed to hold hay (lots of
it) and therefore needs a significant floor to support the load. The
one in our barn is typical, it's 3/4" T&G yellow pine 3-1/4" wide on
2' rafter centers. It's a little springy, but certainly not bad. As
for head room, the center aisle distance to the hay hook track is a
little over 30-ft. It would have been a little narrow around the
support columns, but they were on 8-ft spacing so could have been
avoided pretty easily for the most part. Plenty enough room for
several players including full-court if you wanted to clear out enough
as the footprint is 66-ft x 38-ft.
As for Pat making jest, knowing (we spent nearly 30 years in
Knoxville, TN, area and followed the Lady Vols closely) her I'd say
the story was more than likely true. INTENSE is not the word... :) I
don't know her playing history before college so can't amplify on the
actual high school or earlier career although I'm sure it's readily
Based on the rest of your answr, maybe I'm confusing a hay loft with
the second floor of the garage we had when I was little. Everything
is getting to be blur these days.
Thanks for the reply.
I don't follow this stuff, but didn't I hear that Pat's sister is a
coach in Maryland? Apparently she's very sick, but still coaching up
The one image is undated but my grandfather on the wagon at what must
have been in the early- to mid-20's, roughly 5-10 years after the barn
was built (started in 1918 after the rationing of lumber was lifted at
the end of WWI). The other is from a few years ago after just
finished painting west end after about three years of near full-time
restoration including roof, replacement of siding, and other
I didn't have one of the inside of the haymow itself handy,
unfortunately, but the haymow floor is at the bottom of the small
center door and is open all the way to the roof. The large door
opens and you can see the hay track rail at the roof line. The hay
door is on a rail system and block and tackle and slides vertically
rather than swinging as did many. The overall height of the ridge is
just under 40-ft and the lower floor ceiling height is just high
enough to allow a horse and wagon to pass through easily -- not quite
8' so the volume was maximized for hay storage. It was originally
designed for loose hay and there are feeding holes in the floor at
intervals along each side for supplying the feed troughs and small
grain bins w/ hand chutes for filling the oats bucket for the horses/
Very typical midwestern turn-of-the-century barn...
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