If you have ever spent your Saturday morning at Ben Franklin, you’ve most likely witnessed the coming together of high school boys from different towns, schools, and sports, to play a game of recreational basketball.
However, for these boys, its a lot more than a pick-up game of hoops. “It taught me teamwork and I was able to create awesome memories with people I met from other schools,” Says Erik Hernandez (‘19). Hernandez goes to McMahon and has been participating in the basketball league since he was a sophomore.
Young men from Brien McMahon, Norwalk High, Fairfield Prep, and other surrounding schools may have nothing in common except for their love for JBA.
Sebastian Fernandez, a senior at Fairfield Prep says, “I have a bunch of friends from the Norwalk schools but don't get to spend a lot of time with them so JBA really was a chance for me to do that and bond with people I rarely see.”
Even with a strong cross town rivalry between McMahon and Norwalk High, when the boys hit the court, everyone is family. “I met a bunch of kids from McMahon that I never would’ve even talked to if it weren't for JBA,” Says Trevian “Trey” Taylor, a sophomore at Norwalk High.
This league, however, wasn’t just for making friends. “My coach and the boys on this team taught me about family. No matter where you came from, we were all brothers.” Adds Taylor.
Because of this league, the boys who don't play basketball for their high schools were able to show their talents. “I play soccer at Norwalk High but I love basketball so competing in JBA was a good way to switch stuff up,” Says Gianluca Trofa, a senior at Norwalk High.
Even though basketball might not be his main sport, Trofa was always seen putting his all into these games.
Despite coming from different schools, this mix of guys had one goal in mind this season; winning the championship game. Donyae Shavers (‘19) of Brien McMahon says, “My team, the Bulls, won back to back championships this year and last year and it was such a great feeling.”