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LRSD hosts elementary basketball tournament



Little Rock, Arkansas – This past weekend marked the conclusion of the Central Arkansas Elementary Basketball League’s basketball season.

This league, according to its organizers, is about more than simply sports.

The Central Arkansas Elementary Basketball League Tournament has been hosted for the past sixteen years to give the district’s youngest residents chances for engagement.

“We have basketball players and cheerleaders fighting it out for the championship this evening,” Darian Smith, LRSD Executive Director of Elementary Education, said.

Ten elementary basketball teams, mostly from the Little Rock School District, make up the league. These fourth and fifth students get the chance to develop their sportsmanship and leadership qualities in addition to competing for a prize.

“We want them to play hard, but also cheer on each other and understand that it’s not always about winning and losing. It’s about how you play the game. And so we want our coaches and our players and our fans to encourage good sportsmanship because it not only translates well on the basketball court but also transmits will in our schools and our classrooms,” Smith said.

Cheerleaders and the Mabelvale Elementary School band performed at the tournament.

One of the district’s coaches mentioned his preferred aspect of youth athletics.

“Being a part of sports is very vital. It’s important because it teaches teamwork comradery and it helps the kids to learn how to deal with some of the emotions of everyday life,” Jefferson Elementary Basketball Coach, Gregory Johnson, said.

Smith, who formed the Central Arkansas Basketball League, believed that parents and students alike could benefit from sports.

“It was always important for my parents to have something for me to do to keep me out of trouble. So parents it’s very important to keep our students engaged because we all have talents and we want them to be able to have an opportunity to find their talents and their gifts and through the team, sports is one way that they can do that,” Smith said.

The Pulaski County Special School District’s Crystal Hill Elementary School won the 2023 championship trophy in front of dozens of spectators who came to support their young athletes. By a margin of 32 to 25, Crystal Hill defeated Forrest Heights STEM of the Little Rock School District.

According to Smith, kids are eagerly anticipating the upcoming basketball season.

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