A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Bikini Bottom Who?

Number one in the league, at the top of their game and with a record of 9-0, the Bikini Bottom Ballers are a force to be reckoned with. The Bikini Bottom Ballers is a first-year, fresh-out-of-the-gate basketball team made up of students from Ottawa that compete at the Streator YMCA.

“Gary [Duffield] and I were sick of hearing about this Sam’s Pizza team always winning in Streator, so Gary and I decided to get a few guys and beat them,” senior Ryan Wendt said. And the team did just that. On the night of Dec. 27, the Bikini Bottom Ballers faced Sam’s Pizza, another team from Ottawa, and came out victorious with a 75-55 win.

The Bikini Bottom Ballers practice about an hour before each game and shoot around “We listen to ‘Stronger,’ ‘Space Jam’ and ‘Party in the USA’ over the speaker,” as a pregame ritual senior Gary Duffield said.

Behind every successful team is a great coach: behind the Bikini Bottom Ballers’ success happens to be senior Brett Gallagher. Gallagher hasn’t had to yell much yet “because we [the team] haven’t lost yet. But I’ve yelled at Ryan because he’s a ball hog.” In a shirt and a different tie every game, Gallagher is always ready for business.

With the ultimate goal of beating Sam’s Pizza again and winning the championship, the Bikini Bottom Ballers still have more to prove. Next time the Ottawa Pirates get a break from the court, drive down to the Streator YMCA to watch the Bikini Bottom Ballers and what they can ensure will be a good game to watch.