Colorado School of Mines men's basketball coach Pryor Orser doesn't get a lot of press, even though his Orediggers play solid hoops and upset the then-number-one-ranked Metro State Roadrunners this past season. But Orser, who can't rely on getting monster players at what's called the "School of Minds," does make use of all-star gunners such as Stephen Bahl. During the summers, emerging Carmelos can learn the fine art of firing the rock during Orser's summer camps. Don't expect your kids to learn to showboat and ball-hog, though: Orser is a firm believer in teamwork and the fundamentals.

Not long ago, ex-Nugget-turned-sportscaster Bill Hanzlik was even more excited than normal on TV: He announced that there were some 300 Gold Crown coaches at the Pepsi Center for a game with the Portland Trailblazers. The fact that there are 300 basketball coaches anywhere in this once-hoops-starved state is testimony to the boost that Gold Crown -- under CEO Hanzlik -- has given to the sport. In particular, the foundation has offered much needed support to middle-school teams left high and dry by shortsighted school districts. And unlike some lesser organizations, Gold Crown (which also backs other youth sports) always seems to get its enterprises right. This one's a slam dunk.


Not long ago, ex-Nugget-turned-sportscaster Bill Hanzlik was even more excited than normal on TV: He announced that there were some 300 Gold Crown coaches at the Pepsi Center for a game with the Portland Trailblazers. The fact that there are 300 basketball coaches anywhere in this once-hoops-starved state is testimony to the boost that Gold Crown -- under CEO Hanzlik -- has given to the sport. In particular, the foundation has offered much needed support to middle-school teams left high and dry by shortsighted school districts. And unlike some lesser organizations, Gold Crown (which also backs other youth sports) always seems to get its enterprises right. This one's a slam dunk.

Every other Friday, game fanatics seeking an unbridled go at Warcraft or Counter-Strike sign up to be locked in this facility from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next morning. Unless the computer combatants are over eighteen years old, they must stay inside the site, working away at one of the thirty PCs linked into a gaming server. Drinks are available, but many parents supply goodie bags, complete with an ocean of bottled water. It may not be everyone's cup of Red Bull, but for some, this is what pulling an all-nighter is all about.


Every other Friday, game fanatics seeking an unbridled go at Warcraft or Counter-Strike sign up to be locked in this facility from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next morning. Unless the computer combatants are over eighteen years old, they must stay inside the site, working away at one of the thirty PCs linked into a gaming server. Drinks are available, but many parents supply goodie bags, complete with an ocean of bottled water. It may not be everyone's cup of Red Bull, but for some, this is what pulling an all-nighter is all about.

Most pitching machines are pretty easy to figure out: They throw fastballs, fastballs and more fastballs. At the Triple Crown Sports Center, however, the gadgets are considerably more sophisticated, tossing curveballs and sliders as well. The joint as a whole is just as notable, with a throwing tunnel, an AstroTurf field, rental cages, a pro shop and more scattered across a 22,000-square-foot space. Individual instruction is available, too, sometimes delivered by fledgling pro players, who use the facility to stay in shape during the off-season. Smacking a curve tossed by a mechanical contraption may not be the same as taking Randy Johnson over the wall, but compared to most pitching machines, the ones at Triple Crown are nasty.


Most pitching machines are pretty easy to figure out: They throw fastballs, fastballs and more fastballs. At the Triple Crown Sports Center, however, the gadgets are considerably more sophisticated, tossing curveballs and sliders as well. The joint as a whole is just as notable, with a throwing tunnel, an AstroTurf field, rental cages, a pro shop and more scattered across a 22,000-square-foot space. Individual instruction is available, too, sometimes delivered by fledgling pro players, who use the facility to stay in shape during the off-season. Smacking a curve tossed by a mechanical contraption may not be the same as taking Randy Johnson over the wall, but compared to most pitching machines, the ones at Triple Crown are nasty.

While pumpkins take their share of abuse around Halloween, no one seems too upset when these squash go sailing through the blue sky. Denver Urban Gardens' Aurora-based Delaney Farm hosts the annual Jack-O-Launch, in which participants compete to see how far they can fling the fall fruit via ingenious catapults. Paging Billy Corgan...


While pumpkins take their share of abuse around Halloween, no one seems too upset when these squash go sailing through the blue sky. Denver Urban Gardens' Aurora-based Delaney Farm hosts the annual Jack-O-Launch, in which participants compete to see how far they can fling the fall fruit via ingenious catapults. Paging Billy Corgan...

This volleypalooza has been going for more than three decades in Aspen. With some 700 teams competing on eighty courts over Labor Day weekend, it sports the title of the nation's largest volleyball party. Players range in ability from international competitor to laid-back park-grass warrior. Spectators can watch for free, but look out for those the 110 mph shots: If you get beaned, you'll be seeing stars -- and not the normal kind for Glitter Gulch.


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