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vol 11 issue 13

Summer basketball league nurtures dreams

LANSING, MI --The Capital City Summer Pro League is where basketball dreams are nurtured and kept alive.

The basketball league is a non profit organization dedicated to provide an opportunity for family, friends and the community to see professional level games played throughout the summer. Team rosters include collegiate, professional and NBA players. All of the games are played at the J.W. Sexton High School gym.

The players sharpen their skills under game conditions, but they do not get paid. That's right. While there is no compensation for their hardwood performance the athletes pay in sweat and determinationfor an opportunity to live their dream. And the public gets to view a spectacular display of hoops at no charge.

The CCSPL season began on June 25 and concludes with its league tournament. The play down begins Saturday, July 30 at 2:15 p.m. and ends with the championship contest on Sunday, July 31 at 6 p.m.

The league is headed by Director, Desmond Ferguson, who is assisted by Executive Secretary, Patricia Ferguson, Game Administrator, Famoun Washington, and League Administrator, Rod Watts.

As the 10 member team league is closing on the end of its second season, one team is eyeing the championship trophy.

The L.A. Magic was riding a seven game winning streak, carrying a 7 - 2 record into the last game of the regular season. But, on Sunday, July 24 Desmond Ferguson's Navy Blue squad handed the Magic a season ending defeat.

Magic coach Danti Mitchell believes his squad is still in the title hunt. "We will bounce back," he said. "I'm confident we are going to win it all."

The number two seed L.A. Magic is named in honor of team sponsor, Ervin "Magic" Johnson.

The Magic coaching staff is as fresh as the league.

Mitchell is the L.A. Magic's first time, first year coach. The 23-year-old helmsman is joined by assistance coaches Don Brown and sister Ferin Mitchell, who also served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Everett High School Junior Varsity girls basketball team. The team manager is Randell Simon, who's on his way to Notre Dame Prep. School.

The 11 member L.A. Magic is a talented squad comprised of basketball notables: Montel Carr, Montrial Carr, Kerry Dantzer, prep school bound; Marquise Gray, MSU; Kevin Lee, Central Florida; Al Mans, Grand Valley University; Eddie Spencer, Central Mich. Univ.; Dennis Springs, Ferris State Univ.; John Terrell, Ferris State Univ. and Gary Truvillion, CMU.

The league is comprised of ex-college players, semi pro players, ex-NBA players and high school ballers who have graduated, and are on their way to play some where on a college scholarship.

However, everything is on the up side. Although "Pro" is part of the league's moniker everything is done within the guidelines and rules of the NCAA, according to coach Mitchell. "We wouldn't do anything to jeopardize the players eligibility," he said.

The League provides an opportunity for the guys to become a little better and to prepare to play at a higher level, Mitchell explained.

The Magic coach hopes that for his squad a little is enough to claim championship gold.

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