Another Exciting Season of Travel League – by Ryan Henry

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Congratulations to our 5th and 7th grade travel teams! Both teams represented the Manassas Park Youth Basketball League in the Fairfax County Youth Basketball League’s championship games. Both teams took 2nd place in their division. The 5th grade team coached by Steve Gaskins and Amir Solomon was runner-up in Division 2, and the 7th grade team coached by Dwight Vick, Kevin Corum, and Aaron Foster was runner-up in Division 1!

We’re especially proud of our 5th grade team. Steve and Amir have been regulars in our in-house league, and Steve has been an active volunteer of the Community Center for years. He coached our 5th grade team last year, alongside several in-house teams and assisted league teams this year. Many of the kids on the team are also familiar faces from our league and it has been exciting watching them grow.

Under the coaching of Gaskins and Solomon, the 5th grade team went a sensational 10-0 in the regular season, entering the playoffs and the championship undefeated. They played a truly unselfish, team-effort of a game, but unfortunately lost to Great Falls in the championship, 38-34.

Coach Gaskins sounded both proud and optimistic in the huddle following the difficult loss. “Y’all came together for the first time and shared the basketball the right way,” he said.

”You got on the court and you played hard. But we’re not done! I’m not going anywhere. Coach Amir isn’t going anywhere. We’re a family.”

I personally have a relationship with Steve and most every kid on the team from seeing them over the past few years and being around their practices this year. I can’t express how unbelievable it is to see how much they’ve grown, both individually and as a team, over the course of this year.

Coach Gaskins received the Coach of the Division Award, and his son, Elijah Gaskins, was honored as MVP of the Division before tip-off. Mike Maynes was also named to the All-League team of the division and recognized before the game.

Trey Terrell and Teyvien Barbour of our 7th grade team, two more familiar faces to the Community Center, were also recognized as All-League players in their Division before their matchup with McLean. Coach Vick also deserves recognition for placing second in only his first year coaching for us!

Congratulations, again, to both of our teams and their coaches for their fantastic seasons. They did an excellent job representing our community and we in the Athletics Division could not be more proud of them.

Here’s to an even better season next year!

Ryan Henry is a Gym Supervisor for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. He can be reached at 703-335-8872.

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