Church League Basketball Takes Over Season


The yellow team prepares to defend against the purple team. (Photo by Annalise Novicky)

Although Central has their own sports and clubs, a popular extracurricular in the student body is here again: church league basketball.

How does it work? A player signs up to play and is assigned to a certain team by either trying out or being hand picked by a coach. Teams can vary across leagues depending on the church; for example, teams in the male league at Immanuel Baptist church are determined by color names such as “the purple team”. However, at other churches like St. James, the female league has more of a unique touch with team names like “The Fireballs”, and there are about eight teams per school level: elementary, middle, and high.

“It’s the same rules and fundamentals of normal basketball, but it’s very recreational,” senior Blair James, a player for the Fireballs, said.

Most of those in church league play for the love of the sport, just for fun, or to better their skills, but that is not always the case. Players like Black Team member senior Michael Savage participate for a long-term goal: his career.

“I was originally was supposed to play for Central in tenth grade, but my GPA was too low to join. I decided to play [church league] my senior year because I want to become a [basketball] coach and playing experience might help me in my career path,” Savage said.

The overall environment of church league games is very supportive yet competitive in a healthy way. Most teams express great sportsmanship, no matter the score, and continue to demonstrate why they love to play:

“Church league is honestly just so much fun because you get to goof around with your friends while pretending you’re Kobe,” Blair said.

“My team is the best out there; I want to give a shoutout to my point guard Tzion Saine. Go Team Black!” junior Jonathan Jones said.

The spirit of most every player is held at a high reputation in church league games, on and off the court.

“My team is The Purple ‘Fourth Quarter’ Team. We’re currently undefeated because we work well together, know the sport well, and just pull out the gas in the fourth quarter, giving us our nickname,” senior Robbie Harshaw said.

As demonstrated by these devoted and passionate players, church league basketball provides a sense of fun/recreation, love of the sport, and aid for the future.