PRUMC brings athletes together over friendly competition

On weeknights throughout winter, students from Westminster, Lovett, Marist, Woodward, Pace, and a multitude of other schools meet at the Peachtree Road United Methodist Church (PRUMC) gym for some recreational basketball. Nine to 12 high school friends form a team to compete in different leagues based on grade level. Throughout Westminster, the PRUMC league has gained great popularity among high school boys.

“PRUMC basketball is a time where friends get to come together. It’s just a fun basketball league, where you can make teams, be with the people you want to be with, and have fun playing basketball,” said freshman Robert Black.

One aspect many Westminster players like about PRUMC basketball is that it provides a place where they can hang out with friends away from the stressful environment of school.

“I really like PRUMC basketball because I get to hang out with all of my friends, while playing the sport I love,” said freshman Trip Mize. “I don’t have to worry about schoolwork or other activities. It’s just a place where I can have fun.”

Freshman Aidan Henry enjoys PRUMC basketball for similar reasons.

“I like PRUMC basketball because it’s a time when I can hang out with my friends and it’s also a good way to relieve stress,” said Henry.

Many PRUMC players participate in the league for this specific reason of being able to hang out with their friends outside of school.

Another aspect that makes PRUMC basketball popular at Westminster is the prospect of meeting new people.

“Although I already have lots of friends on my team at PRUMC, I like that I get to meet lots of students from different schools,” said Henry.

Freshman Weyimi Agbeyegbe has also met new people through PRUMC.

“Throughout the season, I become better friends with my teammates, while making new friends with people from other schools,” said Agbeyegbe.

Furthermore, the league attracts numerous students from Westminster due to its competitive yet laid back nature.

“I really love the sport, but I don’t want to do it competitively. I just like to mess around with my friends,” said Mize.

He, like the majority of PRUMC players, plays in the league just to have fun with his friends rather than play highly competitive basketball. The league does not allow players from their school’s varsity team to compete, making the league more fun and friendly than competitive.

Agbeyegbe likes the league for the same reasons.

“I mainly play at PRUMC to mess around and hang out with friends,” said Agbeyegbe.

Some players, however, find PRUMC basketball much more competitive than others, such as sophomore Billy Kistulinec.

“I play for the love of the game, the camaraderie between the teammates, and the rivalry,” said Kistulinec. “It’s very competitive, but I like it that way.” Other players enjoy the competitiveness as well as the time spent with friends.

“I wouldn’t change any part of the league,” said Black. “It’s more a fun basketball league than a competitive one, but it gets really competitive.”

Despite their different feelings about the competitiveness of the league, these players all enjoy the league as it is now and comment that they would not change the level of competition. Although not all players wish for a more competitive league, many think the league could be more serious.

“I really don’t like the refs because they don’t seem to call any fouls, and it makes the games not as official,” said Henry.

Freshman Chase Moss thinks the players in the league could also be more serious.

“Sometimes the players just take half-court shots and don’t even try to win,” said Moss. “It can really ruin the games.”

Some players also find daunting the $125 charge to each player as a participation fee.

“One thing I would change is the cost,” said Agbeyegbe. “It’s a little expensive so I would lower the price a bit.”

Although some players find that the league could be more serious and less expensive, most feel that choosing your own teams and therefore having only good friends as teammates makes up for any bad parts of the league.

“It’s a really great league because no matter if you’re on the bench or in the game you’re still with your friends and having fun,” said Agbeyegbe.

Another freshman, Jason Longacre, feels the same way about the league.

“I like the league because you get to choose your teammates,” said Longacre. “It makes the games much more fun and interesting.”

Many Westminster boys play in the PRUMC basketball league to hang out with friends outside of school, meet new people, and enjoy somewhat competitive basketball, yet Westminster students tend to be very busy. Henry said this is another great aspect of PRUMC basketball.

“Even though I’m a two season athlete, I can play PRUMC basketball because it does not take up much time,” said Henry. “There are no practices and only about one game every two weeks.”

This aspect of PRUMC basketball attracts many students who are too busy to play on the Westminster team. PRUMC basketball has become such a popular league because it is an opportunity for friends to hangout outside of school and play some fairly competitve basketball.