GBA: The league

As competitive as recreational basketball gets


Senior Mitchell Hummel sizes up his passing options after picking up his dribble.

Michael Barbuti, Author

Thousands of youths from around the Haymarket and Gainesville region play on teams in the Gainesville Basketball Association (GBA). Kids of nearly all ages, from second grade all the way to twelfth, have the ability to learn and play the game of basketball through GBA. Many students from both Battlefield and Patriot play in GBA’s recreational basketball league, which started the regular season about two weeks ago. Despite the fact that it is rec basketball, the games are still frequently competitive and heated.

In the week leading up to a game, there can often be a lot of trash talking between opposing players who attend the same school. Games where both teams have a lot of players that attend the same school are likely to get a good-sized audience of other students. Even if it is just rec basketball, students get excited to see their classmates play against each other and try to back up their end of the trash talking. GBA provides a venue outside of high school athletics for players to compete against each other and be cheered on my their peers.

Senior Mitchell Hummel is playing in his eighth, and final, GBA season this year. Hummel says, “Most of the league has been the same players all the way through middle and high school, so we’ve built up some good rivalries and friendships.” Although there are usually some newcomers each year, the majority of the players in the league have been coming back for years and years to continue competing.

GBA goes a long way towards connecting kids from all over this area, no matter what school they go to. Hummel explains, “Some of the Patriot kids I never see in the off-season, but as soon as games start we’re back to joking around and talking trash.” The students of rival schools quickly become good friends and teammates because of their participation in GBA.

Senior Matthew Tekampe has played basketball with GBA since third grade, even playing with the more selective travel program that GBA offers in seventh and eighth grade. Tekampe says, “It gets pretty competitive, especially when it comes to close friends.” Tekampe can often be heard talking to his friends about the different matchups in the league that particular week.

Senior Bianca Dominguez is a regular member of the crowd at GBA games, and even played a season over the summer last year to get in on the action. Dominguez says, “I like watching the GBA games because no matter what your main sport is, or whether or not you’re good at GBA, everyone who wants to play is included.” Dominguez has a lot of fun attending the games and cheering on her friends.

GBA plays a significant role in the lives of many kids in the local area, whether they play in the league or not. It fosters a fun, competitive environment where kids can learn the game, make friends, and support their classmates.