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The City Journals

Middle school basketball tournament gives student-athletes chance to develop skills

Apr 30, 2022 09:39AM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Two Albion Middle School teams took first in the middle school 3-on-3 intramural basketball district championships.

Albion’s eighth-grade girls’ team and its seventh-grade boys’ team, coached by Nate Foster, took home championship trophies. Midvale Middle won the eighth-grade boys’ trophy and Draper Park Middle won the seventh-grade girls’ top place. Indian Hills sixth-grade girls team won as did Mt. Jordan sixth-grade boys.

At Midvale, coach Mitch Edmonds held practices Mondays and Wednesdays after school, but he often would find “some of the boys would get up and go to the gym to practice as early as 5:30 a.m. or as late as 10 p.m.” 

He said the eighth-grade boys’ leadership with the younger teams and communication on the floor helped them in their overtime win against Albion, beat Mt. Jordan and then knock off Draper Park in the semifinals. Their win against Union in the finals sealed their victory.

Draper Park’s winning seventh-grade girls’ team also were champions as sixth-graders so they “repeated as champions this year,” Draper Park coach Rhodes Baker said.

Draper Park’s teams practiced three days every week leading up to the tournament. Baker said there was so much interest at the school, they held their own tournament to determine which teams would represent Draper Park in the district tournament.

“Most of the kiddos have played basketball for a few years and know how to play, but I tried to teach them the basics so they could do well at the district tournament,” he said. “On offense we worked on the ‘pick ‘n roll’ and ‘give ‘n go.’ On defense, we worked on boxing out and going to the boards to get the rebound. Overall, I thought the kids played great.”