Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cedar Ridge Academy Therapeutic Boarding School Basketball

Students at co-ed Cedar Ridge Academy Therapeutic Boarding School participate in multiple seasonal sports, but the students always go for basketball! The following was written by Conrad, a current male student at Cedar Ridge Academy.

Cedar Ridge Basketball is run by Wes;  he is also the coach for the Junior Jazz. Along with Wes, Brent and Sam help out with teaching us how to better play basketball. Brent, being really good at basketball and Sam, playing college ball for several years makes it really easy to learn from them. We have the opportunity to play on a really nice court that Cedar Ridge has provided for us three days out of the week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we run a series of drills and exercises. On Sunday is when we actually scrimmage. This does not include all the time we get to play when our home staff takes us. With all the extra time that we get to play basketball it is really easy to grow and get better at basketball. You learn a lot more than just how to physically play basketball, you also learn a lot mentally.

Cedar RIdge Academy Jr. Jazz team
Sam coaches the Cedar Ridge Academy Junior Jazz  basketball team.

When I first got here, I was not very confident. The more that I played and talked with Brent the better I got. Sure I was learning a lot of skills, but my confidence on the court has grown dramatically. This is what I really think has helped me the most. Since we are not a really big school, it is really easy to get one-on-one help from peers and staff. It makes you feel like people care about you and want you to succeed. I look at a lot of the kids and see where they are at and it reminds me of myself when I first got here. I just know that every single one of them has so much potential as long as they are willing to put in the work; both on and off the court.

Coach Wes and Cedar Ridge Academy basketball team
Wes discusses strategy with the Cedar Ridge Academy Junior Jazz team.

Wes has been coaching the Junior Jazz for as long as he has been here. The Junior Jazz gives kids a chance to learn teamwork and respect for themselves and others. Last year's Junior Jazz team got second place in the whole Junior Jazz league. This year's team has just as much potential, if not more. If they listen to Wes and work really hard they  might get first place this year. They must all be open minded and willing to listen. This year's Junior Jazz contains many future leaders. They are all flowers and they need to blossom into something beautiful. On top of that the relationships you make on the team are something you will remember for the rest of your life.

Along with basketball, Wes also teaches the girls the basics of football using a foam football and some flags. This gives the girls a chance to get their competitive and manly side out that we all know they have (in a good way of course). You can tell how much fun they have by the smiles on their faces.

Girl's flag football at Cedar Ridge Academy
Wes teaches Cedar Ridge Academy girl students to play flag football

Wes, Brent and Sam have all helped students to better themselves and achieve excellence both on and off the court. All these guys like to mix fun with hard work which really pays off in the end. They have changed my life and the lives of many others. All the kids and staff here have a special place in my heart. I will miss all of them when I leave.  - Conrad

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