Summer league concludes at Griggs Center
LAGRANGE – Another shoot-out is in the books.
For the past five years, a summer basketball league has been held at the Griggs Recreation Center, with dozens of players getting together each Saturday to run the court.
This year’s edition of the Summer Basketball Shoot-Out as the league is called wrapped up on Saturday, with a team composed of players from Callaway High getting the best of a LaGrange High team to win the championship belt.
After the basketball was done on Saturday at noon, league director Sam Cotton gathered the players together, and they listened to a series of guest speakers, and those who have helped out with the league were also introduced and recognized.
Cotton wanted to expose the players, most of whom are high-school-aged, to men and women who have succeeded in all aspects of life, and who have been an inspiration to him.
“I invited folks, and they spoke freely,” Cotton said. “Everybody basically said the same thing, you can’t do wrong staying on the right path, whether it’s school, or athletics.”
Cotton said the idea is to “surround yourself with positive people.”
While Cotton was in charge of the league, he said there were a lot of people who were instrumental in making it a reality, and that includes staff members Devita Dean, Zeke Parks, Ed Jones, Greg Hall, Tim Cox, Gary Smith, Matt Copeland, and Callaway High boys’ coach Terry Hayes.
On Saturday, Cotton introduced each of those people and presented them with a camp T-shirt and a plaque.
Cotton also thanked a group of businesses and individuals who helped out in various ways during the summer.
Cotton also said members of the community contributed money to help provide each of the campers with a T-shirt, and they received those on Saturday as well.
On the back of the T-shirt, there was a place for the names of instructors and sponsors, and there was also a spot reserved for someone who has been a big part of the Griggs Recreation Center over the years.
Mitchell Hill, who died earlier this summer, was a long-time member of the family of employees at the Griggs center and a critical part of the basketball community in LaGrange, and Cotton wanted to make sure he was on the T-shirt.
“It was important to put Mitchell there,” Cotton said.
Cotton also said Cox, one of the instructors, provided pizza for the campers on Saturday.
League play was held for 10 Saturdays throughout the summer, and it gave the players an opportunity to get plenty of time on the court.
One of the players who appreciated what the league offered is former LaGrange High standout Danterrius Bray, who is preparing for his sophomore season on the Maryville basketball team.
“It helps me stay in shape, and it’s just good to play a lot,” Bray said.
OF NOTE: For more photos from Saturday, check out facebook.com/LDNsports
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports