ICE League 2016: Week 2 Highlights

IMG_9328By Kaitlyn Young | @The_Kaitlyn_
Member of Ball State Sports Link
Production crew for ICE League: Season 2

People have always told me Indiana is “The Heart of Basketball Country,” but I never understood what they were talking about.

Sure, I played booster-club ball in elementary school, but I never had that “Indiana Basketball” feeling.

A couple of weeks ago I attended my first Inner City Educational (ICE) League game, and for the first time in my 20 years of living in Indiana I understood what those die-hard Hoosiers were talking about all this time.

Teams of middle school students filled Muncie Central Fieldhouse, all ready to play basketball.

However, these kids aren’t just playing basketball to pass the time, they have a true passion for the game. The players all bring their personal talents to their teams and the ICE League helps them improve those talents.

But, the ICE League improves more than just these young men and women’s basketball skills.

Players must maintain a 2.0 or higher GPA to be able to play in the league, however a 2.0-2.29 GPA only allows them one quarter of play. Players need GPA of 2.5 or higher to be eligible to play the entirety of the game.

To put it simply, the higher the player’s GPA the more time they’ll spend on the court.

That’s when it hit me. These kids aren’t just playing against other talented basketball players, they are playing against themselves – an important lesson every young adult should learn.

In a world where professional athletes take their careers for granted and only seem to care about the money and fame, we see the truest form of love and appreciation for the game from none other than 11 to 14 year-old kids.

Seeing the talent, the drive and the passion the players had after one night of watching the ICE League finally showed me what basketball means to these Indiana boys and girls.

It’s not about being the best one on the court, or even about winning every game. It’s about pushing yourself to be the best you can be in every aspect of life, without making excuses.

It’s about being a great player on and off the court, and may I say, these kids are already on their way there.

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