Chess on Ice, as some call it, was invented in Scotland more than 500 years ago.
TULSA - Tulsan Hans Helmrich has been a sports fan all his life.
So you could imagine his excitement when at age 13, he was picked to be a ball-boy for the USA Men's basketball team for the Olympics. He was there for one of the more famous games in Olympics history. More on that in a bit.
So, how did Hans get the assignment? He was a good ball boy, and at a recent Tulsa Shock practice he showed us the keys to being good at the job.
Deliver Gatorade without spilling
"Cayden. You and Al don't overfill the cups," warned Hans.
Handing a player a towel is not as easy as it would seem
"You want the towels over the shoulder, not around the waist or not around the bottom, over the shoulder. That way the guy has his own discretion as what to do with it."
Rebounding practice shots. Passes have to be executed correctly
"You want the two-handed chest pass Al, nothing soft," advised Hans. "You blend in. It's seamless."
All great advice.
Joking aside, it was Hans attention to detail that landed him his job in '72 and his assignment as a ball-boy for the 1972 USA vs USSR gold medal final, with former Oklahoma State head coach Henry Iba leading Team USA.
You know the game, the one where the refs gave the Soviets three different chances to inbound with just seconds left to score the winner.
"We felt like we had been ripped off. We felt like that was our game, we won it, and we couldn't speak the language. It was just total chaos," recalled Hans.
After the loss, Team USA refused to accept their silver medals.
"And guys were crying, everyone's upset. And at that point in the locker room, people were shouting and yelling. At that point they started talking about not accepting the silver medal, which they never did. And so, 40 years later the silver medal is some bank vault."
Coach Iba refused to talk about the game for the rest of his life.
"His wife died not long after that. And those two events really put him in a depression. He was really hurt by the defeat," said Hans.
Adding insult to injury, Iba had his wallet stolen during the game.
Despite how that game turned out, Hans still looks back on those times as precious moments.
"You knew it wasn't fair but, in the long term it made it a game none of us will ever forget."
Check out behind the scenes photos from our 2 for the Gold shoots. On your phone? Use this link bit.ly / bigalphotos to see the pictures.
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Tulsan Hans Helmrich has been a sports fan all his life. So you could imagine his excitement when at age 13, he was picked to be a ball-boy for the USA Men's basketball team for the Olympics.
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