By Emmett Prosser Special to Published Oct 04, 2009 at 2:31 PM

Dribbling was about the only thing ever I ever mastered on the basketball court. The hardwood is usually not the place for the vertically or physically challenged.

Despite the fact that I grew up in the Marquette High School gym, the only league this guy ever had a legitimate shot at playing in begins with the word "fantasy." Therefore, I tried to take my hoop dreams in another direction.

I've got many great local sports memories as a fan. I was a face in the crowd when Cecil Cooper put the Brewers in the World Series. After Desmond Howard clinched a third Super Bowl for the Packers, you could have found me somewhere in the New Orleans Superdome. Six years later, I covered Marquette in the Final Four at the same place.

But it was my freshman year in college when I experienced the one shining moment that helped me understand why so many people get so emotional about sports.

It was just five days before the start of the 1991 NCAA tournament. I was a student manager at Xavier University. Because of rules about how many humans could sit on the bench, I was forced to watch the entire Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League) tournament from the stands.

After beating Dayton and earning an automatic bid to the madness of March, the team mobbed one another at midcourt. I made eye contact with future NBA forward Brian Grant and figured that was as close as I would come to the celebrating a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Thirty seconds later, senior point guard Jamal Walker lifted me out of the seats and motioned me toward the basket. After joining the team on the court, Walker gave me a scissors and told me to climb the ladder.

During the entire season, Walker (who grew up in the Bronx) had thrown constant expletive-filled verbal jabs in my direction during practice. He wasn't exactly a friend of the freshmen... or so I thought.

"You are going to cut the first piece down," Walker said. "You are part of this team, too."

Yeah, right. I was the third-string water boy!

Too shocked to speak, I shook my head, no. Before I knew what was happening, Walker had lifted me onto his shoulders.

Moments later, an 18-year old kid with Cerebral Palsy was cutting down the net with a group of conference champions headed for the NCAA tournament.

Talk about a field of dreams ... They might as well have cued the music from Hoosiers.

My feelings? Think Miller Park crowd after Ryan Braun's home run on the final day of the 2008 season.

It was on that day that I realized why so many of us get a little crazy over sports. You never know what is going to take place. Every day is different and anything can happen.

After covering and producing sports for the Journal Sentinel for the last 14 years, I'm excited to join the team at

I'll write on a little bit of everything going on in these parts ... even that Rhett Favre guy who is now wearing purple.


Emmett Prosser Special to

Emmett Prosser is a former sports producer at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online and has covered the Brewers, Bucks and Marquette basketball in many capacities for 13 years.

Prosser also signed a year's worth of 10-day contracts with the Cleveland Cavaliers' media relations department after graduating from Xavier University so he could get three-point shooting tips from NBA great Mark Price. The son of an English teacher and former basketball coach, Prosser attended Marquette high school.

In his spare time, Prosser enjoys live music and fooling people into making them believe he can play the drums. He also serves on the board of directiors for United Cerebral Palsy.