By: Micayla Christensen—
Muncie, IN—8 ICE League teams walked into Northside Middle School on Wednesday night, anxious and hopeful for the night’s semi-final games. Four teams emerged as winners and will face off in the 2019 ICE League Championship games tonight, March 21, at Muncie Central High School.
- GIRLS’ DIVISION: Buley Center vs. Ross Center at 6:00 pm.
- BOYS’ DIVISION: Boys & Girls Club vs. Buley Center at 7:20 pm.
The Inner City Educational (ICE) League is a program of Project Leadership and is designed to motivate students to be strong student athletes as they move toward high school and post-secondary educations. An innovative initiative that leverages students’ love of sports while promoting stellar academics, the League is composed of 6th-8th grade boys and girls who are drafted to basketball teams at one of four ICE League member organizations: Boys & Girls Club of Muncie, Buley Center, Ross Center and YMCA.
In Season 5 of the ICE League, 93 student athletes participated. Academics are a League priority.
Billy Vance, ICE League coach for the girls’ Boys & Girls Club of Muncie team said, “I do this league to help athletes get better at basketball, but to also help them understand that grades are more important”
The ICE League sets the grade-point-average bar at 2.5 and higher for students who wish to fully participate in the League. A 2.5 GPA student is eligible to participate for four quarters in each game. A 2.0 to 2.49 GPA student is eligible for two quarters. And a 2.0 to 2.29 GPA student is eligible for one quarter.
Vance understands how important teamwork and academics are in the success of his team on the court.
While his players have only been playing together for about a month, they have learned to play well with each other and form a bond, which has contributed to the success the team has seen.
The ICE League may be a place where your GPA is your most important stat, but it is also a place where teams form bonds and have fun doing it.
“My favorite part has been seeing the girls’ faces light up when they win and the excitement on their faces” said Vance in his closing statement.
Awards recognized at this year’s semi-final game included most valuable teammate for each team along with the highest team GPA average and warm-ups for each player.
Most Valuable Teammate award was chosen by the coach of each team and is a new award this year. Boys’ Most Valuable Teammate:
- Boys & Girls Club- TuckerLowe
- Buley Center- AmarionBrown
- Ross Center- AsherDonahue
- YMCA- TrentonFrench
Girls’ Most Valuable Teammate:
- Boys & Girls Club- TrinityMalone
- Buley Center- TajIsom
- Ross Center- FaithShroll
- YMCA- ZariahBarnes
Team GPA Average was awarded to the team with the highest average GPA and is also a new award in this year’s ICE League.
Boys’ Team GPA Award:
- YMCA, 3.12
Girls’ Team GPA Award:
- Boys & Girls Club,34
8th-grade ICE League players with the highest GPAs will be awarded $6,000 in scholarships at the conclusion of the ICE League Championship games Thursday. The scholarships will be held by the ICE League until students graduate from high school and will be dispersed to the college or university students attend.
For more information about the ICE League, contact Project Leadership at 765-896-8616 or visit iceleague.org.