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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

Holy Hoops

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Tipoff: St. Peters vs. Holy Trinity

In my experience, Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Basketball is a great place to compete, form friendships, build discipline, and find Christ in athletics. CYO assists parishes and families in offering young kids the full truth about life, love, education, solidarity, and security. CYO Basketball is an experience that every kid should have. 

According to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition Science Board, Youth Sports have been shown to lower stress, anxiety, and depression levels, while also boosting self-esteem levels. Youth Sports can also help the body develop by strengthening bones, cognitive development, and cardiovascular health while reducing the risk of cancer and diabetes.

CYO Basketball, which was founded in 1930 by Bishop Sheil, is a league of parishes of the Archdiocese of Washington competing against each other. CYO is for grades 3-12, and all you have to do is belong to a parish to play.

“The Catholic Youth Organization is a nonprofit agency of the Archdiocese of Washington that seeks to help young people find true happiness by coming to know and love Jesus Christ in His Church through participation in their Athletic, Scouting, and Youth Ministry Programs,” states  Catholic Youth Organization and Youth Ministry – Archdiocese of Washington

CYO is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help kids find happiness and to build relationships with Jesus Christ. Before every game, a prayer is said and everybody shakes hands for sportsmanship.

CYO also sets up in-season tournaments to help further the experience like the Holy Redeemer Shootout at Georgetown Prep. During my experience at the Holy Redeemer Shootout as a little kid, I remember being able to meet new kids and make new friends in the downtime between games.

CYO basketball also allows kids to learn teamwork and discipline skills during practice drills like the three-man weave, learning how to pick and roll, cutting to the basket, learning different plays and offensive styles, as well as the CYO classic 2-3 zone defense.

When I got older and came to Gonzaga, CYO basketball became an even better experience because I got to compete against my classmates from Gonzaga. 

“CYO establishes connections and helped me build friendships,” said Jayden Peralta ‘24.

Going to Gozaga, I saw familiar faces from playing CYO. Now playing CYO in high school, I get to play and compete with my new friends from Gonzaga. Last weekend, I played a game against all my friends that came down to a buzzer-beater, and although we lost the game it was an electric experience. Especially after COVID-19, CYO Basketball helped me to rekindle my friendships with kids from my old school.

CYO is accessible, builds character and most of all is fun and will always be a highlight of my childhood. 

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