Against The Grain

Published 2:22 pm Thursday, June 13, 2013

FARMVILLE – While much of the area's attention has turned toward the ping of baseball bats and the smells of the ball park, the unmistakable sound of squeaking shoes and balls bouncing against the hardwood can be heard at Fuqua School several nights a week during the school's summer league.

The informal league, which consists of seven teams of three different age groups for boys and a five-team high school age group for girls, meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the two Fuqua gymnasiums.

“It's a good group of kids that want to keep their games in shape over the summer,” said Fuqua School boys basketball coach Marcus Gregory. “We have kids from all over the area, not just from here.”

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The League started on May 28, and will run through June 20.

“We try to keep the games competitive for all age groups,” said Gregory. “Teams get about two games per week. It's a good way to shake off the rust.”

The girls teams consist of entries from area high schools, including Fuqua, Park View, Bluestone, Amelia Academy and a group consisting of mostly players from Buckingham.

“We sprinkle in some players who do not go to those schools, but those teams are pretty much as they stand at the moment.”

The evening consists of three games. A running clock is employed to make sure games don't go much past 8 p.m.

“Our mid-major game went to overtime, so we're running a little behind tonight. I got a little extra workout,” said Gregory after he refereed and coached the nightcap, which was between the two Major League (high school varsity-level) teams – a 60-55 victory for the Timberwolves over the Thunder.

Teams are nicknamed after NBA franchises, with the Knicks, Heat and Hawks in the Minor League, and the Nuggets and Spurs in the Mid-Major League.

“That's a neat little twist, and the kids aren't playing under their school names, though we probably should've had the Heat and Spurs play together in a league.”