By Mick Tidrow | @mick_tidrow17
Member of Ball State Sports Link
Production crew for ICE League: Season 2
As a kid, sports can teach more than just life on the field of play. In this instance, basketball provides a push off the court as well.
The ICE League stands for Inner City Education and allows kids in sixth through eighth grade to compete in the basketball league. But there is a catch.
The players have to maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 to be eligible to play. If they keep a 2.5 GPA, they can play all four quarters in every game.
This gives them extra incentive to maintain a high GPA. It also prepares them for more than just basketball, but life in general.
Hard work and dedication are two traits an athlete must have to compete at a high level. Add in holding a passing GPA, discipline comes into play. With sixth through eighth graders though, it is not the simplest of tasks.
This is where the ICE League and coaches of the teams come into play. They push the players to strive to be as well rounded in the classroom in addition to on the court.
The first time I took part in filming ICE League highlights during the first week of games, I was in awe by the kids and their passion for the game.
They took the game to heart, and were upset when they had to be taken out of the game because they ran out of playing time due to a GPA that hindered their playing time.
I could see it in the eyes of the players that they wanted to be on the court as they sat on the bench. They wanted to be on the court, but were out of minutes.
The ICE League can help a player look at the way they handle off the court situations, because if their playing time is in the hands of their grades, players are more prone to get their work done to showcase their skills.
This applies to life in general, not just a basketball league. Yes, ICE is a way to prepare kids for high school and college, but more importantly life.
Each game in the ICE League is more than a game, they are life lessons and memories to last a lifetime.
Follow @iceleague and visit http://www.iceleague.org.