By Alex LaGrone, Staff Writer
This is year two of Flint’s City-Wide Basketball League. Last year, the league revived the youth program after being inactive for more than 15 years. The schedule will have 10 weeks of play – eight weeks of regular season games and two weeks of playoffs.
The middle and high school division’s games will be played at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church. Games are on Saturday’s now through March 16. The games are free for all team participants, boys and girls.
The program is made possible through a partnership between the city of Flint, Chris McLavish Basketball (CMB), Flint ReCAST, Eagle’s Nest Academy, Mt. Olive and the YMCA. The five divisions are 3rd through 6th grade. They will play their games at Eagle’s Nest.
The season started off with 6th and 7th grade Mt. Olive teams versus the FA Playmakers. The Playmakers came to play as they opened the game by capitalizing early on turnovers by Mt. Olive. Mt. Olive had trouble trying to get the offense going as they committed several turnovers as the Playmakers applied pressure on Mt. Olive’s backcourt.
Mt. Olive went scoreless until Marion Morrison made a free throw to put them on the scoreboard. The Playmakers got scoring from Marquavion Guise and Daniel Steele to take a 30-10 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Playmakers took control as they went on to win easily by the score of 63-16. Calvin Munerlyn and Dylan Fitch contributed for Mt. Olive. Calvin Guise along with Marquavion and Steele helped the Playmakers get the win.
In the second game, Mention Savage took on the Knights in the game between 8th graders. The Knights played a very good first half scoring at will. Savage had trouble finding the basket as they trailed 40-10 at intermission.
Several Knight players got into the scoring act. Jahin Ducan, Jay’len Flowers, Shameer Liggins, and Terrence Smith connected on layups and jump shots.
Mention Savage was unable to mount any comeback as the Knights were in total control from the opening tip until the final buzzer. Final score Knights 69, Mention Savage 25.
In one of the afternoon games, history was made. An all-girls team, the Flint Crossover, took on the all-boys FA Heat, ages 11to14-years-old. This was the first all-female team to compete in the league. The Crossover played hard all game and showed exactly what the league is all about. Although the Heat outscored the Crossovers, both teams displayed excellent sportsmanship.
“Our goal is to provide our youth with a positive, fun activity, in a safe environment said Sean Croudy, director of community recreation for the city of Flint. “This league will not only teach youth about basketball but also help build self-esteem, teach how to work with others as a team, and get kids to be more active.”