For the Rosedale community, West Bolivar head boys basketball head coach Cedric Armstrong is doing his part to alleviate that problem for a few of the young people in and around the town.
This past Thursday, Armstrong started the first ever Eagles Run and Shoot Summer League, which will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the West Bolivar Middle School Gym for boys and girls ages 10-12 and 13-15. Because of the low girl turnout, the league is co-ed.
"We are trying to give our kids something to do during the summer time,” Armstrong said. “We want to also give them a fair shot at playing basketball because they really can't play until seventh and eighth grade. I think getting them involved early will give them a chance to be ready by the time they reach junior high.”
The idea for starting the league is something Armstrong has thought about, but when he recently participated in the United Family Life Center's 30 and over basketball league the idea really took off.
"I recently played in the United Family Life Center's basketball league, and I had a great time,” Armstrong said. “I came back and asked the kids if they would like to do it and met with the parents and they gave some great parent support and here we are.”
In addition to having the chance to compete in games, the participants will receive one-on-one skill training.
"Our situation is a little better than other leagues because it's ran by basketball coaches,” Armstrong said. “The skill camp is just giving back to the kids. It's free of charge and they can come in and it gives us a chance to work with them one-on-one and then they can go home and work on ball handling, shooting and passing and be excited about coming in for the games to show what they've learned.”
Willie E. Thomas is the athletic director at West Bolivar High School and long time coach. Thomas said Armstrong's idea of holding the summer league for the kids is a great idea.
"The community is really excited about it,” Thomas said. “Everything went really well yesterday and the turnout was big. The kids had fun and the parents are really enthused about it. At this age, you want to keep them busy and help them stay out of trouble. What Ced is doing is great, and it's not about winning and losing. It's about learning and having fun.”