Upper School boys flock to PRUMC basketball


Many students throughout all grades participate in sports inside and outside of school. One popular sport among boys is basketball, and for boys who do not want to play on  the varsity team, PRUMC basketball is a excellent option.

  Peachtree Road United Methodist Church basketball is a church basketball league in which students in grades 9-12 create a team with 9-13 people from their school to compete against other teams. There are three leagues for high school students in total: one for 9th and 10th graders, one for 11th graders, and one for 12th graders. A few other schools that participate are Holy Innocents, Lovett, Marist, Pace, Riverwood,  Wesleyan, and Woodward.

“You just get a few guys together, get a captain, and everybody signs up for the same team,” said senior Kevin Kelly.

Many students find out about the basketball league through friends and peers at school, or hear people talking about it and become interested.

“Our grade had a couple of teams play when we were sophomores, and we would always hear about the games after they happened,” said senior Pranav Rekapalli. “During junior year, my friends asked me to join.”

For boys in elementary and middle school, the process to join the PRUMC basketball league starts with a coach, who must register online and is given the choice to request players to have on their team. Then, parents register their children and are given the option to request certain coaches and teammates. They have a certain practice time once a week, and a certain game time every weekend.

The high school teams have more freedom than the middle and elementary school ones. They are given the opportunity to create their own teams with their friends, choose their own coaches if they decide to have one, and schedule their own practices if they decide to have some. It is up to the team to decide how things will work. The only thing they are given is the schedule of when their games are.

“We don’t have practices, we just have games,” said freshman Grant Pinkston.

On the other hand, some teams are very strict about their coaches and practice schedule.

“We had practices over winter break, and we would always meet after school to play basketball just to get ready for the season,” said Rekapalli. “Our coach is Rahil Kamath.”

Kamath, also a senior, played on a PRUMC basketball team during his junior year, but injured his shoulder and could not play this year. By becoming the team’s coach, he still found a way to be involved with the sport.

Some high school teams are incredibly serious about the league, yet others are laid back about it. Many of the boys said that the intensity matters to the team and the players.

It seems that as the players get older, they begin to become more invested in their team. Some teams have even used social media including Instagram and Twitter in the past to make their team look more official and to one-up their competitors.

“It makes us look like the Hawks,” said Pinkston.

Many of the 11th grade teams at Westminster like to update their social media pages and add information such as when their games are.

One interesting rule the PRUMC league follows is that anyone that chooses to join the league must not be on a varsity basketball roster at school. This rule helps makes things fair between the teams.

“I’ve heard of some people who did not play varsity basketball so they could play PRUMC,” said Pinkston.

This is an example of the dedication and intensity that some players put into the league.

Though some are laid back about the sport and some are very serious about it, most of the boys agree that there is a lot of tension between the teams.

There is a lot of smack talk and fouls caused by the fierce competition. Many players explained that the teams are competitive because they are playing against people that they know. They may even be playing a team from their own school. They explained that the competition gets especially heated during the championship.

“It’s not your typical church league,” said Kelly.

Whether they have been playing basketball since they were 5 years old or 18 years old, the Westminster boys enjoy participating in the PRUMC basketball league for a unique social experience and stress reliever.

“It’s really fun to just have some fun and play basketball with friends,” said Rekapalli.