This past Friday was the last basketball practice before the games begin later this week. Joel had to miss it so I, of course, compensated by taking about 752 pictures. My phone doesn't take the best action shots, and these kids were moving, but you get the general idea. (And Dashiell, when not entertained by watching his sissies, rather enjoyed chewing on his mini basketball and making Amarra fetch it. She got quite a workout herself.) They ran lines, practiced defense, dribbled with their right and their left, worked on rebounding, did layups...you name it! Coach Frank (yes, the tall guy in the blue) was a red shirt for the Olympic team and knows his stuff, but Basketball itself is his secondary emphasis. First? Character. He talks about commitment, life skills, attitude, hard work, sportsmanship, respect and reaching your goals even more than about shooting and passing. Out of the couple of hundred kids in this league he seems to know them all by name (he even said Seleia correctly) and genuinely care about each individual. He wants them to succeed. Seleia and Elora are in the youngest age group, 7-9, and so most of the kids are just learning the sport. It is so fun to watch these kids discover what they can do! And if you've ever been to a children's sports game, then you know there's an element of just plain entertainment in there as well.
Oh, and Seleia? That girl can shoot. This is going to be fun.