Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PAL Basketball Teams Win More National Trophies

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PAL Basketball Teams Win More National Trophies

Article excerpt

The process began in November, when coaches started organizing the teams and holding practices, and the regular season started in January running through the end of February. When the season ended, the Jacksonville Police Athletic League's intramural basketball teams were in a familiar position: winning a handful of trophies.

Six area teams participated in the 43rd annual National PAL Basketball Masterpiece in Fort Myers April 7-10 with all six bringing home at least a third-place trophy.

PAL basketball is made up of six divisions divided into age groups from 10-and-younger to 18-and-younger, with similar divisions for girls.

"We get kids from all over the area," PAL organizer and Jacksonville police officer Dexter Green said.

But in order to reach the finals in Fort Myers, the teams first had to navigate the local league championship. After the season ended, an all-star team is selected from each age group. The first-place team in every division is guaranteed at least five players on the team and the rest of the squad is composed of the best players from the other teams. The all-star team then travels to Fort Myers for the championship.

The local teams that qualified for the finals were 12-and-under girls and boys, 14-and-under girls and boys, 16-and-under girls, and 10-and-under boys. When they arrived in Fort Myers, they found themselves sharing the court with 83 teams from around the country.

"It gave the kids a chance to compete on a national level," he said. …

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