Southern Basketball League kicks off season
The league, consisting of six teams of service members, Department of Defense employees and other status of forces agreement personnel, is scheduled to last seven weeks, beginning with five-week round-robin play.
“(The round robin) goes from the last week of August to the last week of September,” said Theodore Shadley, sports specialist for Marine Corps Community Services and the coordinator for the Southern Basketball League. “We play Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays starting at (6 p.m.), averaging three games a night and nine games a week.”
This is the second year of the Southern Basketball League, according to Shadley.
“We started this league last year in May,” said Shadley. “This year we have six teams, one of which is a female team.”
Because there were no other female teams entering in the tournament, Kinser Lady Kings have been playing against the other five all-male teams in the tournament.
“They are playing well,” said Monte A. Hay, the coach of the Lady Kings. “They have to earn everything they get. So, they stay aggressive all the time because the guys out here are just looking for a ‘W’ in the win column.”
The players’ skill levels vary greatly.
Some players are at a varsity level, some play at a recreational level and, for some, it is their first time playing basketball, said Shadley.
Such is the situation for the Lady Kings, the female team newly-formed for this league.
“The Lady Kings are doing well,” said Hay. “We just put this team together three weeks ago. For several of them, their first time playing was two weeks ago, and now they are out here playing in this tournament.
“They do not back down. They are out there playing against the guys, taking charges, and taking hard fouls. They are aggressive, and that is exactly what I want from them,” he said.
Currently, the teams in the league are playing in round-robin format, competing for the number one seed in a double-elimination tournament.
“The actual tournament starts Sept. 22,” said Myrick A. Porchia, the center/forward for Black Top Cru, a team competing in the league. “The round robin is just to determine the seeding of the teams for the tournament and who will play each other first.”
According to Shadley, the tournament is a fun and competitive way for the players to get a workout while building camaraderie and learning to work as a team.
“Half the girls did not even know each other,” said Hay. “But, the more they play with each other on the court, the faster they are becoming good friends off the court. I believe them becoming friends really helps the team bond and work together better.”
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