By Leila Dycus staff writer

This past Saturday the Hoop Dogs were back in action preparing for the end of the summer season. “The games help build a foundation and love of basketball for the kids, but most of all it gives kids a great activity to do and to stay active during the summer months,” said middle school basketball coach Milfred Franklin. All summer students from across Morgan County have been participating in the Hoop Dogs summer program. On Saturdays the teams participate in games against various teams from around the area. The Hoop Dogs program has been around for 15 years and was created by Nate Williams and Thomas Davis. “The characteristics we want the kids to take from this is dedication, teamwork, commitment, hard work and the will to keep working when things are not in their favor,” said Franklin. On Saturday July 12 different Hoop Dog teams participated in one of their last games of the season. The third and fourth grade BT Ballers took on The MC Thunder, another group of BT Ballers took on the MC Pacers. Another group of thirty four BT Ballers took on the MC Ballers.

The seventh and eight grade BT Ballers played the MC Heat. The sixth grade Hancock team took on the MC Clippers. The sixth grade Georgia Jazz played the MC Jordan. The sixth grade Hancock team took on the MC Jordan. The sixth grade Georgia Jazz took on the MC Clippers. Saturday’s games were one of the last times these teams will play together. This Saturday July 19, the students will participate in their last Hoop Dogs game of the summer. Parents will partner up with their son or daughter to compete against other parents and their children. There will be a free throw competition, hot spot competition and obstacle course. The games will start at 9 a.m. at the high school. Basketball plays an important role in Morgan County culture- with the middle school boy’s team winning their region tournament and the varsity team winning state. “We want the kids to understand and see that the older players who were successful this year on the Morgan County teams, participated in the hoop dog league also when they were young,” said Franklin. “The hoop dog players can see in person what happens when you put in hard work and dedication to make yourself better in basketball.” The Hoop Dog staff would like to thank all the parents and volunteers for helping with concessions, admissions and all other jobs that made this program run this summer. The program would like to say a special thanks to Lem Hill for their donation to the Hoop Dog program.