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Upward basketball finds home in Troy

Basketball is a game that can offer many different life lessons.

An organization in Trojan has found a way to incorporate those lessons with beliefs.

Upward Basketball is similar to many other basketball leagues.

It is made up of local kids playing and practicing basketball on a weekly basis, however the league also encourages its players to practice something else.

“The main difference between recreation league basketball and upward basketball is with our league we have more of a spiritual aspect along mixed with basketball,” league director Al Renfroe said.

“We try and get the kids that play to focus on basketball and developing a relationship with God as well as developing good characteristics and sportsmanship.

“We think we are working towards having a really good league of basketball that allows the people involved an exposure to the game as well as other important aspects of life,” he added.

Even though this is just the league’s third year in existence, the number of players each year has grown.

In its first year, 95 players were apart of it, while last season 170 joined the league.

For this upcoming season, there are around 210 players and 28 different teams.

The league is made up of kids from kindergarten to the sixth grade and Renfroe said everyone who is a part of the league, from players to the parents, has a good experience.

“This league is about reaching out to people.

“Sports are such a big fabric of Troy. This league was born out of seeing the need for something for kids to be a part of – this is a good way to help kids get active on the court and also become active with the church,” Renfroe said.

As it turns out, the league is also a good fun-raising tool, as well. Last season, one of the league’s first players Alex Morgan, suffered from a brain tumor.

Upward Basketball took donations to help Morgan’s treatments and were able to raise close to $2,500.

While practices have already begun back in Nov., the league won’t begin play until the new year.

Each Saturday, starting January 9, the league’s games will take place at the First Baptist Church and will run until the end of February. For more information, go to the league’s web site at www.troyfbc.org/upward.html