Kids Kab winter basketball finishes for season

Published 12:25 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2018

by Steph Woods

On March 11, the Kids Kab Winter Basketball League had its Championship Saturday at Riverdale Elementary in Courtland. On March 17, the organization celebrated the selected All-Stars who competed. Coaches and players were honored.

Championship Saturday began with the Junior Division championship game between the undefeated Blue Devils, coached by William Brown, and the Tarheels, coached by James Holeman. This game was forfeited by the Tarheels. The Senior Division then played and featured Camp25, coached by Eric Benton, and the Squires coached by Gary Lawrence. Camp25 beat the Squires in the final game.

The Winter Basketball League began the second week of January and featured 16 teams across three divisions; Midget (5-7); Junior (8-10;) and Senior (11-14.)

The Midget Division was developed and was headed by Coach Duck “who did an amazing job with the little kids,” said C.C. Cooper, founder and executive director of Kids Kab.

Teams played not more than six games each throughout the season, which was hampered by poor weather and lack of gym space for practices. The teams were then seeded by their regular season records and the top 4 teams in the Junior and Senior Divisions competed in the play-offs. The final two teams in each division competed for the Championship.

One-hundred eighty-six children participated in this season. The league was officiated by certified VHSL and Collegiate officials.

“I am really grateful to my referee colleagues who stepped up to help out,” said Cooper, who is also a certified official. “It is important that we teach while we referee so that the kids can grow and get better.”

The games were in Southampton Middle School and Riverdale Elementary each week.

“We hope to partner again with Southampton County and possible the City of Franklin to have more gym space next year, but I am grateful to Southampton County for helping us out again with game day venues,” added Cooper.

The Midget Division Coach of the Year was awarded to William Brown of the Blue Devils, who have gone undefeated for two years. The Junior Division Coach of the Year was awarded to Gary Lawrence of the Squires. The Player of the Year in the Junior Division was awarded to Aiden Brown and D.J. Dillon took the Player of the Year honor for the Senior Division. The Most Improved Player for the Junior Division was Charvonte’ Cooper, and Quartez Bynum in the Senior Division.

All-Stars were selected after Championship Saturday by the Basketball Committee and League Coaches. The Senior Division All-Stars selected for the East team were D.J. Dillon, Franklin Graves, Tristen Evans, Juelz Cooper, Christian Fanjul, Whitman Clark, Kayli Hyte, Gage Xinos, Timon Williams and Kalen Cales. The East was coached by Eric Benton and won the contest.

The West for the Senior Division was coached by Gary Lawrence, and selected to that team were Nate Yeary, Semaj Moore, Zaquan Walton, Zach Lee, Dalton Gillette, Cameron Ridley, Katlin Dawson Kendall Blythe, Shawn Battle and Karmarj Hewitt.

In the Junior Division, the East was coached by William Brown, and selected players were Aiden Brown, Zavien Malone, Miguel Bradshaw, Ethan Hatch, Aiden Darden, Benny Dillon, Q’Mari Allen, Travis Mabry and Christian Spivey.

The West was coached by Nicole Williams, and selected players were Nasir Williams, Tyler Cabral, Jamonte’ Graham, Jaleel Woodley, Zaveon Bynum, Gannon Ritter, Willie Murphy Charvonte’ Cooper, Tyler Branch and Jaquar White. The East won the contest.

The MVP of the Midget Division All-Star game was Zavien Malone, who had 15 points in the contest. In the Senior Division, Franklin Graves was the All-Star MVP with 13 points.

While Kids Kab continues to grow, the organization will be implementing strategy to help the organization serve more children in the coming months and years. Kids Kab is a non-profit organization with a mission to support, empower and cultivate youth by providing safe, inspirational and educational activities and transportation for school-age children.

Kids Kab was founded in January 2016 by local Community Leader and Mentor, C.C. Cooper. 

Spring Flag Football will be available following the Down the Middle Foundation Senior Baseball League.

“We partner and work closely with Down the Middle Foundation and Camp25. It is important that we continue to all work together to provide experiences such as these,” said Cooper.

Summer Basketball will be available following Spring Flag Football.

STEPH WOODS is with 2Give Management Inc. Contact her at stephwood