Chris- Sorry I hadn't seen the thread earlier.
I have absolutely no experience with consumer video cameras (I've never even owned one), but I would strongly recommend a video camera for what you're doing.
Yes, a DSLR is more versatile in that it's a still camera as well.
But a camcorder will offer auto focusing, a much better and longer zoom range, no limits as to the record time, and much, much better ergonomics for handholding and monitor screen.
If you were just looking to dabble in photography and video, I'd probably recommend the DSLR. But if your primary focus (!) right now is those basketball games, a camcorder is a much better choice.
I don't even know if you can buy a consumer camcorder that records on tape or disc or HD any more, but I would only be looking for one that records to SS chips...i.e., SDHC or such.
::::::: “Yum. I'd love to gnaw on those with my ears." :::::::