Upward program offers sports, spiritual opportunities for youngsters


These kindergarten-age participants of the Upward Basketball program wear tags to designate who they need to guard during the game Saturday in the church gym.

These kindergarten-age participants of the Upward Basketball program wear tags to designate who they need to guard during the game Saturday in the church gym. Photo by Stephen Brooks.

The fans have gathered, the teams are warmed up, and the cheerleaders have pom-poms in-hand.

Following the coin toss, the official leads both teams, coaches and cheerleaders in a quick word of prayer.

Then, turning to the crowd, “this is a church, but you can still make some noise,” Chris Stegeman, league commissioner, said.

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As the Upward Basketball game unfolds, parents along the out-of-bounds line shout encouraging words and suggested directions to the kids on the court.

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