March Madness comes to Moneta

Basketball game teaches good sportsmanship

MONETA, Va.- – March Madness brackets may be busted but some local coaches say players can bet on their basketball lesson. Coaches for the Moneta Area Recreation Association hit the court Thursday night teaching students not only basketball skills but quality character as well. 

The Moneta Area Recreation Association has been looking for a way to get more children involved in sports and encourage the community to get involved as well.

The basketball game entertained the crowd while teaching valuable lessons.

"A lot of time you give up during the week. Two or three nights you're at a practice facility," said Mickey Ellis, president of Moneta Rec Association.

The association formed two different teams, The Thunder and The Hustlers, to play a game in front of their players. 

Michael Hamm said it gives kids an opportunity to watch their coaches in action.

"When we're out there making a mistake it happens too, you know. When we out there and succeed it the same for us as it is for them," said Hamm. 

Although the game was competitive at times it demonstrated teamwork and good sportsmanship.

It's not always go, go, go. It's a lot of fun. The camaraderie that comes along with it," said Ellis. 

Coaches are already making a lifelong impact on two young athletes. Aiden Jordan wants to play at Virginia Tech in a few years.

"They've been teaching me all season and I just want to see them do whatever they taught me," said Jordan. 

Carter Ellis wants to play for the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

"You get to be challenged and you get to learn about winning and losing and you learn a lot of new stuff about every claim you practice," said Ellis. 

"To grow and to succeed but also how to fail. Because you're not always going to win. You're not always going to succeed," said Hamm.

Ellis said Bedford County Parks and Recreation has been managing the Moneta area rec sports since 2017. 
"And instead of worrying about the day to day operations of registrations turn that into projects and turn that into ways to reach the community and help others ," Ellis said. 

This was the first of many games. The Moneta Area Rec Association plans to have a coaches softball game in this summer.