The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Pickup Coalition offers friendly competition for ballers

Senior Avery Berryman started a Facebook group Dec. 21 called The Pickup Basketball Coalition, which has become a popular sporting activity among CHS seniors.

 The group meets almost every weeknight at the Buck Branch Park basketball courts, commonly referred to as “the spot.” Pickup games are regularly played from 8 to 10 p.m.

 “I decided to start the group because I finally got the okay from my doctor to start playing again after what would’ve been my sophomore and junior seasons,” Berryman said. “Since the CHS team had already held tryouts, I wanted to find a way to play as much basketball as I could.”

 On average, about 12 to 18 people out of 68 group members will show up to ball each night. The games are five versus five until one team scores 13 points, and the game goes by one and two pointers. The winning team must win by at least two points, and the winner stays on while the people sitting out get to choose a new team to challenge the winners.

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 “The point of the coalition is so that anyone who wants to play can join,” Berryman said. “It’s open to anyone who has enough free time to come and play for 10 minutes or five hours.”

 Games are competitive because the winners stay on, but well-trained athletes have also shown up to these games. Senior CHS basketball players Quan Gill, Kyle Edwards and George Nichols have all participated, making the games more intense with their experience. Some players go for these quality games but others go simply for the workout.

 “I go so often because the games are very high paced,” senior Connor Maio said. “I heard from senior Brian Mokua that it’s a good way to exercise, so part of the reason I play is to get a beach body.”

 Maio is not the only player who plays to get in shape. Senior Jalal Baten also plays for the cardio involved in the game.
“Playing basketball is a huge workout and a good way to work up a sweat,” Baten said. “But since it’s also fun, you don’t even notice all the running involved.”

 Besides the physical aspect of the Pickup Basketball Coalition, it has also become a good place to socialize on weeknights. Since many people attend, the people waiting to play socialize on the bench.

 “It’s great balling every night but I also like hanging out with all my friends who come,” Maio said. “I’ve even made some new friends.”

 The coalition plans on continuing to ball throughout this summer until all the seniors graduate and leave for college. Players also plan on starting some tournaments to make games more competitive.

 “We’re setting up a three-on-three tournament soon, possibly with a small cash buy-in for teams,” Berryman said. “Winner takes all, and teams are subject to approval by the people in charge of the tournament to ensure relative fairness.”

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Pickup Coalition offers friendly competition for ballers