South Side Social
West High Basketball ProgramMonday, January 23, 2012 By Chaise Lancaster
The West High Alumni Basketball program gives Jackson youth the opportunity to play basketball, regardless of their skill level. This program is open to children from the ages of 5-17. The league is broken up into different age groups, and the program is also co-ed. The association is fair, great for interacting with peers and is also a good learning experience for any athlete who wants to play. Victor McGee is a referee for the West High Alumni basketball program. “I ref for the 9-ll years olds every Saturday,” said McGee. He enjoys being a part of a program that offers positive influences to the children. “Of course I enjoy refereeing for the little ones. I like to see the kids challenge themselves with different obstacles,” said McGee. McGee, who is also an assistant coach on the boys basketball team at South Side High School, has been a ref for a few short years. “The last two years I’ve been refereeing for the program has been a great experience for me and the kids I interact with,” said Coach Victor. He learned to ref by watching and evaluating other referees at games and different events. “Yea, when I wasn’t playing in a game, I kind of just observed the refs and picked up on the different skills and hand signals they showcased,” said Coach Victor. McGee believes that refereeing could be a future career for him. “I have the kind of love and passion for the game of basketball were it doesn’t matter what I’m doing I just want to be involved and around the game,” said Coach Victor. McGee thinks he is a pretty fair ref. “I call the game to the best of my knowledge, and I am fair. It does not matter who is playing, even if my own family is playing, if you foul, you foul and I’m going to call it. That’s just having respect for the game,” said McGee. He plans on continuing to ref for the program in the near future. “I will. I love the game and being a role model for the young athletes,” said Victor while smiling. He is also highly considering becoming a coach and getting his own team together for the program. “In the future I will become a coach and take the league by storm (he said while laughing), but right now I enjoy and appreciate the opportunity with the kids,” said McGee. Unfortunately he did not have the opportunity of playing for the program. “No, I didn’t have the opportunity because the program was not around when I was younger, but I would have loved to participate in it,” said McGee. The West High Alumni Basketball program was established just a few years ago. Concerned parents and people out of the West Jackson community believed that they should construct a program of some type to give their kids an opportunity to play and compete amongst each other. That’s when the West High Alumni came up with the idea to host a basketball program at the beginning of every year. For four years the program has given young athletes a chance to learn how to be coached, learn the importance of teamwork, and offer them an alternative to being in the streets.