Rec basketball's popularity soars

A recent trend for high school students who don’t play basketball for their school team is to join rec-leagues. People who play at the Powell YMCA play Y-ball, but if they play at the Westerville Rec Center it’s Rec-ball. There are two divisions of eight teams for the junior-senior team leagues at the Rec Center. Out of those 16, five of the teams consist of players from high school.

One of the teams from Orange that consists of both juniors and seniors is called Daddy Daycare. Because there are so many teams from the high school, it makes it fun to play. Rec-ball is a good way to hang with friends and not be super serious, but still be competitive. At the end of the season there is a tournament for all the teams.

“The season has gone super well. It was rough at first since we’ve never played together before, but since then it’s gone super well and we’ve come together as a team. There are so many people from our school who play because it’s super fun and just a good way to bond with the guys and laugh,” senior player Adam Wheeler said.

It has also become popular for guys who really like to play basketball, but don’t want to have the commitment of having to play for the school. It is more relaxed and fun. The players can form their own teams with around 10 players and they need a coach to join. Individually, it costs $65 if the player lives in Westerville, if not it costs $80.

“I decided to play rec ball because a bunch of my friends wanted to get a team going. My favorite part about playing is playing against people I’m friends with so we can have bragging rights against each other. I think so many people are involved because everyone wants to be playr even though we aren’t good enough to be on the school team,” senior player Jack Ward said.

Along with the senior teams, many junior boys have joined in on the fun. Joe Tadres used to play basketball for the school but now plays on a rec team with his friends.

“My favorite part is playing with my friends and having a good time,” Tadres said.

Some of the teams take the game pretty seriously but others are just there to have fun with their team. A few of our teams that have students on them don’t take a lost game too hard and just focus on the fun.

“Some of our games are competitive, but our team isn’t that competitive because we don’t really care about winning as much as we do about having fun,” said Tadres.

On the other hand, some players play the game to win. Junior Duncan Wendel said he takes the game pretty seriously along with his teammates.

“Games against people we know get pretty competitivve because we want bragging rights. This can lead it to getting heated out there. A few of us on our team have gotten into some fights with the refs too.”

Overall, the teams all have a good time while playing with and against their friends. Rec basketball creates a competitive atmosphere with less commitment than an official school team.

Photo credit by Brooklynn Miller and Tyler Ross

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