Having a ball: Boone County basketball league fun for players, community

Tessarae Thompson, Scott High School
The Washington District Senior League is a non-profit basketball league for teens in Boone County. This year, the league's eight teams, including the Magic (blue) and the Heat (red), have nearly 100 players.
Teams play at the Madison Civic Center on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The first game of the night starts at 5 p.m.
Lance Doss takes a foul shot for the Magic while the Heat's Brandon McNeeley watches the net.
The league is a non-profit organization. Money from a concession stand covers most of its operating expenses, while a small admission fee pays for the referees.
The Magic's Alex Boggs dribbles around the Heat's Austin Murr. In the back are Brandon McNeeley (red) and Skylar Cooper (blue).
Zack Gobble of the Knicks follows through after a shot.
The Celtics' Danny Egner prepares to take a shot.
Player Dakota Workman said the league is more about fun than competitiveness.
Washington District Senior League is a non-profit co-ed basketball league in Madison for teenagers ages 13-19. The teens involved look forward to this winter sport every year."It's absolutely amazing; we go down there to have fun. We don't get too competitive about it. We get to play against people we know and our friends," said Scott High School junior Dakota Workman, who plays for the Hawks."Anybody can play; you don't have to try out," he added."It's good for teenagers to stay out of trouble.  It gives them something to do," said Mathew Walls, a junior at Scott and member of the league's Knicks team.
The senior league has been around for more than 10 years and is a big event in Madison. Students from all three Boone County high schools (Scott, Sherman and Van) play, as well as students from high schools in some nearby counties. Members from all over the community come to watch kids they know play or just to watch the game itself. A concession stand is run during games, which is where the league gets most of the money it uses to operate. There is also a small admission charge ($2 adults, $1 students), which is used to pay the referees.Games are at the Madison Civic Center on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The first one of the night starts at 5 p.m.
At the end of the basketball season, the league has a tournament. After the championship game, players and teams are given awards and a pizza party is held for anyone who is present.As Workman said, any teen who wants to can play in the league. There are no tryouts like there are for school basketball. Anyone who signs up and pays the entry fee is placed on a team.Before registration, players can attend open gym if they want to get in some practice first. Then, at registration, each player is given a number, and coaches assemble their teams.There are eight teams in the league this year, all named after NBA teams. They are the Hawks, Knicks, Grizzlies, Magic, Heat, Celtics, Lakers and Spurs.There are an average of 12 players per team, which means there are slightly less than 100 teens in the league. This is a significant increase from last year.Washington District Senior League is a great way for community members to come out and support their youth. The teens involved love it and look forward to it every year.If you live in the area, why not come out for some fun and basketball? You just might love it, too.For more information, call the Civic Center at 304-369-4647 or request to join the Washington District Senior League Facebook group.
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