Upward sports leagues shoot and score

A few years ago one of my sons wanted to give organized basketball a second try.

Other than playing at recess and briefly in a community league the previous year, his experience was limited to dribbling and shooting with me and his older brother.

We had certainly seen the advertisements in our church and around town for Upward Basketball, a Christian-based hoops league.

A profile of the national organization – which sponsors sports other than basketball — done by McClatchy Newspapers, reflects the positive experiences my son and I had in the league.

The emphasis is on playing time as opposed to wins and losses. It was a philosophy I found helpful, and frankly somewhat refreshing, in coaching early elementary school boys.

Each week also provides a different Bible verse for coaches to review with their team at practice and gives strategies how to apply them to sports and life in general. I thought it was a well-designed devotional which allowed the coach to share a small nugget of faith regardless of the depth and breadth of his or her Scriptural knowledge.

None of my sons will ever give LeBron James a run for his money on the basketball court. Yet the lessons learned and seeds planted over a few short months from a faith perspective enrich and ultimately outweigh what was gained from a basketball standpoint.

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