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Voice: Give young athletes more consideration

February 20, 2002

I went to see my grandson and a bunch of friends that I have made in helping coach grammer school basketball players. I realize those who are administrating the program, El Centro Elementary After School Program, mean well for the kids taking part in the program. Before anything else, I would like to congratulate the eventual winners from McKinley Elementary School.

However, I would like to add that during the time that I participated in sports, before Little League, in national tournaments in Mexico, and coaching three sports for over 27 years, I have never seen the likes of what I saw today. The team representing Desert Gardens School had to play three games in a row. They eventually lost by two points.

They won their first game in a rout, in a short court. They won their second game in a rout, in a full court. They faced McKinley, the eventual champions, again in a full court, with out no rest between all three games. If you have ever played any type of organized basketball or any basketball, for that matter, you would know about the fatigue factor.


You might say, well the other team played too before the championship game. Yes, they did, but not three games in a row like the Desert Gardens team did.

The kids want to play but, let's be FAIR to all teams involved. Let's consider that with fatigue there is more risks of getting injured. Desert Gardens could have been given a rest after their second game and McKinley could have played for the right to meet Desert Gardens, giving both teams an equal number of games before they met or they could have alternated games and hopefully meeting in the final.

Let's also consider that these are elementary school kids and most parents are not going to leave their children in a gym from before 2 p.m. until around 7:30 p.m. Let's consider that it is on a weekend over seven and half hours in a gym. But most of all let's have some consideration for the kids. You could see the Desert Gardens team was really tired before their second game ended. They love the game but let's not over do it.


El Centro

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