By: Sue Godfrey—
The 2016 season of Project Leadership’s ICE League will officially get underway Saturday with a Draft Day for middle school athletes at Muncie Central High School. The Inner City Educational (ICE) League, in its second season, is an innovative initiative that motivates participants to be strong student athletes as they move toward high school and post-secondary educations. The ICE League ties in closely with Project Leadership’s mission to assist local students to and through college. Project Leadership programming, which includes 21st Century Scholar enrollment, places an emphasis on strong student GPA performance.
Project Leadership’s ICE League sets the grade-point-average bar at 2.5 and higher for students who wish to fully participate in the basketball League for 6th-8th grade girls and 7th- and 8th-grade boys in Muncie Community Schools. In the inaugural 2015 season, the ICE League had 69 boys participate as well as 11 coaches representing four non-profit youth centers.
“Season 1 of the ICE League exceeded our expectations as 50 percent of our players increased their eligibility for amount of quarter play because of improved GPAs while in the League,” Project Leadership Director Tammy Pearson said.
This year, Project Leadership is partnering with Ball State Sports Link, which will develop a documentary showcasing Season 2 of the ICE League from Draft Day through the championship games on April 9. The documentary will air on WIPB in Muncie, Comcast Indiana and other media partners.
A partnership with Muncie Community Schools and permission by students’ parents allows the ICE League to monitor student GPA eligibility before the February draft and progress during the expanded 9-week playing season. Students with a:
- 2.5 or higher GPA are eligible to play all 4 quarters of each game.
- 2.3 to 2.49 GPA are eligible to play 2 quarters of each game.
- 2.0 to 2.29 GPA are eligible to play 1 quarter of each game.
All players in the ICE League are able to participate in the League at no cost to them or their families because of funding provided by community partners in Muncie.
The 2016 ICE League will be comprised of three teams:
6th-8th grade girls, an area that the ICE League expanded into this year.
On Draft Day, four core ICE League non-profit member organizations will select players for each of the three teams outlined above. Those non-profit centers are:
Boys & Girls Club of Muncie
YMCA of Muncie.
Girls in 6th-8th grade and boys enrolled in 7th or 8th grade at Northside or Southside Middle School who have an interest in trying out for the 2016 ICE League may complete an interest card in one of these three ways:
2. Visiting one of the four non-profit partnering centers
3.Visiting Southside or Northside school offices.
Students who are not registered prior to Saturday’s Draft Day may still participate by registering the day of the event at Muncie Central High School.
Project Leadership’s ICE League Draft Day will take place on Saturday, Feb. 6th, at the Muncie Central High School gym. Player registration is the following: 8:30 a.m. for 7th-grade boys; 10:30 a.m. for 8th-grade boys; and 12:30 p.m. for 6th– to 8th-grade girls. Draft Day activities will be as follows: 7th-grade boys at 9 a.m.; 8th-grade boys at 11 a.m.; and 6th-8th grade girls at 1 p.m.
Muncie Central Coach Jeff Holloway will address the boys with a special message at 9:10 and 11:10 a.m.
Muncie Central Coach Lisa Blalock will speak to girls shortly after 1 p.m.
For more information about the ICE League, contact Kaye Harrell or Dick Daniel at
Project Leadership at 765-896-8616 or visit the ICE League website at www.iceleague.org.