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Boys and Girls Club basketball league born from student efforts

by Matt Hutcheson | February 9, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.
(Matt Hutcheson/News-Times file)

The Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado’s basketball league is currently enjoying a revival after over a decade of being inactive.

“We had a need for a teen basketball league since there’s no indoor soccer this year,” said Anthony Farris-King, director of the Boys and Girls Club Smackover-Norphlet Club and after-school programs.

Boys and Girls Club administrators noticed that local teens would often frequent the club’s gym to play pick-up games when the gym was open.

These casual pick-up games spawned what would become the teen basketball league.

“One young man, Tyree Kendrick, didn’t make the El Dorado High School basketball team one year and decided to start his own basketball league,” Farris-King said.

Kendrick named his project the Underrated Basketball League.

“He named it that because he felt like the people that didn’t make the team are underrated. They would play in the summer and the Boys and Girls Club, just playing pick-up games,” Farris-King said.

Farris-King heard about the league and reached out to Kendrick, who then began recruiting enough players to form several teams.

“It’s his league but they play within the Boys and Girls Club. They have referees, jerseys and coaches now,” Farris-King said.

Roseburg Forest Products donated $1,000 to the teen basketball league, sponsoring every participating team.

Farris-King said the BGCE hopes to also have a summer basketball league.

“We want to have another go at in the summertime when more kids are out. We feel like even more kids will want to do it after this go-around. It gives kids something to do during the summer,” he said.

The teen basketball league is for ages 13 to 18 and games are held on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 1noon.

The Boys and Girls Club is also currently holding baseball league sign-ups until Feb. 19. Registration forms are available at the Boys and Girls Club at 1201 N. West Avenue, and sign-up fees are $70.

Lastly, the BGC is still preparing for the launch of the DAW Youth Center in March.

Farris-King said local businesses Sims Mortuary and E-Z Auto along with single donor Antonio Johnson donated to pay for the DAW Youth Center’s 30 open slots.

Farris-King said parents can stop by the Boys and Girls Club’s main office to sign up and request their child attend the DAW Center.

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