Registration is underway for the annual Boys and Girls Club of Faulkner County basketball season.
The deadline is November 17. Entry forms are available at the club or on its website.
The program is open to girls in the first through seventh grades and boys in the first through ninth grades. The season starts in January and wraps up before spring break. Teams have one practice and one game per week.
Years ago, the league had a reputation, somewhat deserved, for rough play but they have cleaned that up nicely.
The league is recreational in nature and takes players of all abilities. So, as expected, you get kids of varying skill levels, but the way the draft is organized, teams are usually pretty competitively balanced.
Last season, the program gave our team a great off-the-court lesson.
We had a pretty good squad of fifth- and sixth-graders. We had only lost one game and found ourselves in the semifinals of the season-ending tournament. We had a pretty good overall roster, but had one boy who stood out above the rest.
On the night of the semifinal matchup, he did not show up at the gym. Our coach told us his mother called and said her son had gotten in trouble at school and, as punishment, would not be playing that night.
Our opponent was a really good team. If we had been at full strength, we had a shot to win and advance to the finals. Without him, we simply had no chance.
Our boys played hard, but we were soundly defeated. Our coach agreed 100 percent that his mother made the right decision. I do, too, and I applaud her for doing so.
I have no idea what the boy did at school. I don’t think he is a bad kid, but kids need to know that their actions have consequences. I hope he realized that his decisions not only hurt him, but also hurt his team.
The rest of the team never gave up and fought as hard as they could in a losing effort. They too saw the effects of someone who put his own actions above his team.
I sure wish we could have played at full strength, to see what we could have done. But in a much bigger and more important sense, I’m actually sort of glad it played out the way it did. Hopefully that young man learned from it. He is a really talented basketball player, and he a good kid.
I talked to my son about the situation after the game. He was understandably disappointed that we lost. But I tried to use the situation as a teaching tool and I think he understood.
He will certainly forget that we lost a peewee basketball game that night. But hopefully he remembers that the selfish actions of one person quite often affect many others.