By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO March 14, 2008 A youth basketball league for fifth- and sixth-grade students in the Monticello Central School District concluded its season on Monday night at the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School.
For the past eight weeks, approximately 50 kids participated in the league, which is sponsored by the Monticello Police Benevolent Association (PBA). On Monday nights, the youngsters, who played on four teams and wore team T-shirts provided by the Monticello PBA, gathered in the Kaiser Middle School gymnasium to play basketball and learn more about the game.
Three adult volunteers Michael Barnofsky, Betsy Conaty and Steve Kapito coached the teams and also officiated the games. In addition, some teenagers who played in the league just a few years ago volunteered their time to help run the scoreboard for the games.
“They really improved as the season went along,” Barnofsky said of the dozens of fifth- and sixth-graders who played in the league.
In Monday night’s playoffs, the Gray Team and Green Team won their respective semifinal games and then played a 30-minute, full-court championship game. In the title contest, the Green Team took a 22-10 lead at halftime and went on to record a 36-22 victory.
But all of the youngsters in the league were winners. Every boy and girl received a Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA certificate for participating in the league, a Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA player’s guide and a Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA family calendar.
“This was a great group of kids,” Barnofsky said. “They were well-behaved. They showed teamwork and respect.”
Barnofsky noted that the league gave the youngsters a good place to play basketball every Monday night under parental supervision.