• 86°

Ratliff Center ends JNBA season with fun send off

The Junior National Basketball Association League at the Theo Ratliff Activity Center came to a close on Feb. 17 with a ‘fun day’ for the teams, in which teams and individual kids can show off their basketball skills.

“We have individual kids come out and do three-point shooting, dribbling and lay-ups. It’s pretty much just a fun way to see what the kids have learned throughout the course of the league,” said Edward Ward, Directory of the Ratliff Center.

According to Ward, the league has been active for 20-25 years. One hundred players as young as seven and as old as 15 comprised 14 teams in this year’s NBA League.

Every Saturday for seven weeks, the league would play seven games between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Each team practiced for an hour a week at the Ratliff Center. Parents served as coaches and local coaches would also volunteer as referees. All other positions were filled by Ratliff Center staff.

Ward said that the kids are required to keep their grades up if they want to be in the league and that the league teaches them valuable skills like teamwork.

“We’re trying to teach them the fundamentals of basketball and, most importantly, good sportsmanship.”

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, February 28 issue of the Demopolis Times.)