*Even though they will miss the post season for the first time since 2007, there’s nothing like an L.A. Sparks game to help some of us ‘old schoolers’ revisit our youth. Last night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles the home team played the Tulsa Shock.

Wow! The energy of the experience; the crowd chanting ‘Defense’ – the sample from the hip hop MC saying “Clap your hands” and the audience dutifully doing it double time.

And then there’s the jumbo screen catching everyone ‘in the act’ and the freebies being thrown into the hands of anxious fans with arms outstretched.

Regular game-goers may take these things for granted, but EURweb publisher Lee Bailey and journalist DeBorah B. Pryor had never been to a Sparks game (and Pryor, shamefully, no prior pro B-ball games), and the experience made both vow to return again and again … though it’ll have to be next season because Friday night’s game was the next to last of the season. Oh well. In any event, after a recent losing streak they came back strong to win 84-73 over the Shock. But the beauty of it was in the play itself. The beautifully executed passes; the entertaining fake-outs and yes, the all-around comraderie.

But while the game was the main thing, it wasn’t the only thing happening. Thanks to The Africa Channel, there were opportunities to learn about one’s ancestral/tribal heritage and several lucky fans got to take the test while at the game. It’s as simple as swabbing the inside of your cheek. The company on-site Friday night, African Ancestry, represented by Dr. Rick Kittles, is said to be the only one that has a database large enough to adequately take on the job of performing the tests. It is the same company used by Henry Louis Gates’ team as he traveled with a number of celebrities to meet their African ancestors.

The completion of the test, which costs $275, takes 4-6 weeks. Two of the Sparks team members who had tested prior, learned their tribal lineage last night. One was happy to learn that she was from royalty; while the other learned that she may share tribal lineage with Oprah.

A post game performance featured former Shalamar frontman Howard Hewitt and 70s disco group The Dazz Band.

DeBorah B. Pryor is the author of “Public Speaking for the Private Person”, a communications workshop designed for those aiming to develop and improve their skills in the office and daily life. Learn more at www.dpryorpresents.com.