On a typical pandemic Saturday morning at around 8:00 a.m., a group text goes out to waiting pick-up basketball players: “Can we hoop?” Earlier in the year when the pandemic happened, all of the parks and gyms in the High Desert were closed off. Everything changed in June.
Thanks to Hesperia High School, players now all have a place to hoop. Hesperia High School is located in Hesperia, California off of Maple Avenue. This is one of many places that you can play basketball.
Runs (shorthand for basketball games) at Hesperia High School are considered different. There is high level of competition in this gym. It is set up and conducted by the coaching staff of Hesperia High School.
High-level skilled players include the head basketball coach of Hesperia High School, Robert Tossetti, who is a former division two (D2) college basketball player and J.T. Roach, a professional from the German leagues who also played D2 college ball and is a former Apple Valley Sun devil.
Weekend early morning runs at Hesperia High School also include junior college (JuCo) basketball talent and former college basketball players. The gym has a normal-sized basketball court and two full courts on the side.
You can either play two games on the side courts or play one game on the main court. Most people prefer the main court games. These games are scored up to 11 by ones and twos (two points for a three pointer).
“We just wanted a place for our kids to play ball,” said Hesperia High’s head coach Tossetti.” Since the state has been shut down, kids don’t have a place to play. They can play here we can have fun here.
Usually about 20 people show up. Four teams are made, and the winner of each game stays on their court. Currently, players are allowed into the games if they’re on the “invite only” group text. There is no cost to play.
“I love the idea that they have open runs,” said Roach. “It’s good for the young hoopers in the High Desert. I live out here during my off season. Even I need a place to put up shots.”
The level of play is fairly high on the Hesperia High School courts. “There are some really good players in here,” said Roach. “All sorts of talent keeps me in good shape. It’s a cool, intense level play, but not everyone is in good shape.”
There are other places to hoop in the High Desert. If you are looking just for fun Monday through Friday games, there are games at Sunset Park, located in Victorville, and they also play at La Mesa Park in Adelanto. A lot of people show up, and the games are enjoyable.