Dr. Kara Moore of Gray Dental Associates, along with the Jones County Recreation Basketball League, are reaching out to girls and foster children in Jones County to see if they would be interested in basketball.
Moore said she is excited to be coaching a team of girls this year and hopes to get more girls to sign up in October. She said basketball is beneficial in several ways.
“The Jones County Recreation Basketball League is boys and girls, ages 5 through 15, and in the past we didn’t have enough girls to participate so we had a lot of co-ed teams,” she said. “This year girls 7 years and up are on their own team, so we are able to have a girls program and a boys program, which we hope to continue to grow.”
She said in the past they did have older girls on a team, but it was co-ed. She said the girls having their own team and forming bonds is good for them. She said even though they had trouble finding coaches this year, they had a few parents who finally got on board.
“This is what fuels the Jones County High School program. If this program fails, there’s nothing to build on. It’s important for these girls to be involved in this sport at this level so they go on to participate in varsity in middle school,” Moore said.
The coach said basketball is one of the best aerobic exercises, which is good for the girls. She said even though football is king in the south, basketball is a great outlet for girls. She said it’s also a great way to build teamwork skills.
“Half of these girls didn’t know each other before joining this team, but now they are all best friends,” Moore said. “It’s team building and teaching them to get along with something other than their phones.”
Logan Maxwell, player 0 on the Hawks, said she has learned a lot of teamwork through basketball because she said it’s not a one man sport. She said she couldn’t do it without her team mates. She said she will probably join the team again, because she really enjoys playing basketball.
“I love basketball, and my mom is one of the coaches. It’s one of my favorite sports. I like shooting hoops. It’s fun to see if you make it, and you get really excited if you get it in the basket. I’ll probably play basketball in high school just like my sister,” Maxwell said.
Moore said there are lots of great members on the Jones County Youth Recreation Board. She said she wants to thank them for getting the program going and doing such a wonderful job with everything since she’s not the only one to help out.
She said they were lucky to have sponsors this year and would like to thank Gray Dental Associates, Rotary Club of Jones County, Gray Memorial Chapel and Crematory, and Benton Auction Services. She said they sponsored foster children, so they could play basketball.
“We want everyone to know if you are a foster parent and are interested in your foster child playing basketball, but you feel it’s going to be a financial struggle, just contact us. We will make it happen,” she said.
The coach said if foster parents want information on how to sign up, they can contact league members. Moore can be reached at 478-957-4616, Jenni Benton can be reached at 478-737-0559 and Takeo Gray can be contacted at 478-283-1126.
Moore said she used to coach in Macon, but this is her second year coaching in Jones County. She said she grew up playing basketball herself. Her mother was a founding member to start the Jones County Youth Recreational Basketball Program in the 80s, so she’s proud to coach these children.
“I love the excitement of coaching. As an adult, you don’t get a lot of competition,” Moore said. “I want these girls to learn and that’s what it’s really about. I love competing, and I love watching these girls get better.”