|J is for Junior Jazz|
Here at Cedar Ridge Academy Private International Therapeutic Boarding School during the winter season, the boys on the basketball team play in the local Junior Jazz League. The Junior Jazz League consisted of 9 teams from around Roosevelt. Each team played 2 games a week on Monday and Tuesday nights. This year we had 11 guys on the roster. Each player brought their individual talents and skill to the team. Together all 11 guys functioned as one unit.
For some of my teammates, this was their first game at a high school level and that caused many jitters and butterflies to come out. The season took off quickly and soon many kids were motivated to work hard during practice and even after practice to improve their skills. The wins quickly began to pile up and quickly we found ourselves being on the verge of an undefeated season. With practices being on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the team was pushing extra hard to finish the season out on top with a perfect winning record. In the postseason, we were the top seeded team and quickly found ourselves playing in the Championship game. The team that we were faced was the 2nd best team and faced their only loss to us. Emotions and adrenaline was at a peak, as we were playing for the championship game. During the game, we quickly set and controlled the tempo of the game. This allowed for us to play quickly when we wanted as well as slow down the tempo a bit and run a couple of plays. Many of my teammates played their hearts out and it showed with the final score being almost a blowout.
For me, the most amazing thing of this Junior Jazz season was seeing the team come together as a family. I was extremely pleased to see so many of my teammates gain confidence in themselves and begin to take confident shots in basketball. It was so rewarding to see how nervous and scared they were before the start of the season, and how they slowly believed in themselves. Being a part of this team here at Cedar Ridge Academy was a blessing. I was able to motivate and help out my fellow teammates in areas on the court that were essential for life. For example some of the skills that I was able to help my teammates in were confidence, hard work, leadership, persistence, etc. For me personally, I believe that the attribute of hard work is crucial in life. Nobody in the sport of basketball is getting better without hard work, which is identical in life. Nobody becomes successful without tedious hours of working hard. For myself, being a captain of the team I was taught how to lead my team with good leadership skills as well as setting the example. This season that we had with the Junior Jazz League was tremendous. Thanks to our gracious and amazing coaches in Sam Hoopes and Wes Nielson and the amazing organizers of this Junior Jazz League. I know that the basketball team at Cedar Ridge Academy was able to benefit a lot from this season! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to learn and play in this wonderful, beautiful game of basketball!