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2019 End of Season Basketball Tournament

Gila River played against team Ba’ag for their division championship.

Youth from kindergarten through sixth grade recently participated in the Friendship Youth Sports League basketball tournament in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

Games were played at the Way of Life Facility, with 12 basketball teams participating almost every day for the past month.

On August 17, the games all led to division championship games for the end of the season. Games were played all morning on the indoor basketball courts. “The games were fun and tiring,” said Ariana Smith of the Salt River Ba’ag team.

The Salt River Ba’ag-Foster team took the championship in the third- and fourth-grade division, and their fifth- and sixth-grade team won their division championship as well.

“I’m just proud of the teams. A lot of the players have a lot to work on, and a lot have [reached] the level where they should be,” said Jake Foster, coach of the Ba’ag third- to sixth-grade teams. “We are moving them up as they go, and I’m just blessed to be coaching these kids.”

The youth in kindergarten, first and second grades also played games throughout the morning. Since it was the Friendship Youth league, the emphasis for these younger players was on learning the game and having fun instead of keeping score.

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