West Michigan Students Win National Title

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A team of students from South Christian High School in Grand Rapids, Mich., won the American Youth Basketball Tour national championship.

After losing the first tournament game, the team rebounded to win the rest of their games, including a 15-point victory in the championship game.

The American Youth Basketball Tour national champions

American Youth
Basketball Tour

“We get a run for our money because all of [the other teams] were handpicked from all over, and we’re all from the same school,” explained Zach Brinkert, 15, from First Christian Reformed Church in Byron Center, Mich.

American Youth Basketball Tour is a summer basketball organization for elementary through high school students. The team traveled to Fort Wayne, Ind., to compete for the title.

Brinkert cited the team’s close friendships as the source of their unique chemistry. “It’s a lot of fun because the other teams don’t get to play with their friends all the time,” he noted.

“It’s a neat group of boys because I look at them kind of as sons: they should be able to come and talk to me about anything that’s happening in their lives,” said their coach, Kevin Kalmink, also from First CRC in Byron Center.

About the Author

Ryan Struyk was a former Banner news correspondent for classes Grand Rapids South and Thornapple Valley. 

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