Beloit Bulls Traveling Basketball Team Own the Future
It used to be a simple process.
Academics, Citizenship, Basketball
You attend tryouts for your high school basketball team, play well, receive a scholarship to a Division I institution, and play your way into the professional leagues. Today’s road to basketball greatness, however, has a few more twists and turns. Today’s traveling basketball teams are large in number and frequent in talent. Some focus on the brand of the team, while others focus on the quickest path to the National Basketball Association. One team in Beloit, WI, the Beloit Bulls, dares to be different.
The Beloit Bulls is a competitive youth travel basketball team consisting primarily of sixth graders. The program stands on the principles of academics, hard work and community service. The team name, “Bulls,” stands for brotherhood, unity, loyalty, leadership and scholarship. The team practices as much as four times per week and participates in as many as three tournaments per month. Beyond basketball, the minimum grade point average requirement is a 3.0 and participation in a mandatory community service event each month.
The team was started in 2015 by Larry Blake, a well-known Beloit basketball coach and community member. When Coach Blake was offered the varsity head coaching position at South Beloit high school, Coach Shelvin Garrett, a Beloit native stepped into the role. “We recognized an unfilled need to get the kid’s skills and teamwork on a more competitive level earlier in their playing days, said Garrett.” “That is what we were and are committed to doing.”
So what makes this team different? Perhaps an ideology that extends beyond basketball. “The young men also need to realize that they are part of something bigger than just themselves,” Garrett said. “The goal is to foster the attitude of hard work on and off the court.”
The team held its first tournament, the “Beloit Basketball Bonanza,” in April of 2017. The first of its kind, this tournament showcased talent on middle school and high school levels.
Although this team may not be a fast track to the NBA, it’s in full speed on the route to manhood. Stay tuned; the class of 2023 is set to shake the town, the conference, and maybe even the state.
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Head Coach, Beloit Bulls