HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Some homeschooled students miss out on the opportunity to play team sports. But for kids in Mississippi, this is not the case.
160 kids took to the basketball court Friday to compete in the 8th Annual Homeschoolers Basketball Tournament. Five teams were present, representing Hattiesburg, Laurel, Jackson, Meridian, and Scott County. The teams also play private schools and other homeschooled athletes from out of state throughout the season.
"This basically to promote the homeschooling community in the state of Mississippi," said Jimmy Hollingsworth, athletic director of the Hattiesburg Forerunners. "We want to give them the Christian values and a chance to play high school sports."
"Playing on a team whose focus is to honor God in what they do, it's real," said Natalie Cade, a senior on the Hattiesburg Forerunners. "It's not just about a game."
It's also about teaching the kids leadership and sportsmanship. The experience gives homeschooled kids an opportunity to socialize, too.
"You get the same social experiences by doing things like basketball," said Jordan Lindsey, a player for the Jackson Victors. "It teaches you team work, how to work well with other people."