Here in Bolivar County several hoopsters lace up their sneakers every Wednesday and compete in summer league hardwood action.
East Side head boys and girls basketball coach Leroy Cotton heads up the league for area high schools and along with other area coaches the teams get together and compete in scrimmage games at the D.M. Smith Gym and the East Side Gym.
Cotton said the purpose for the league is to provide coaches with an opportunity to evaluate what they have on their squads.
"It gives coaches a chance at a free price to get in and evaluate our teams and work on some stuff that we will be doing in the fall,” Cotton said. “I think summer basketball is good all the way around and so it's something great that the Mississippi High School Activities Association has granted us the opportunity to get some real games in.”
Each summer the league is played through the month of June and allows the teams to compete in 15 games.
Shaw High boys basketball head coach Anthony Davis said player development is very important and the summer league allows him to get guys ready and allow new guys to learn the system against other teams.
"This is an evaluation period and a time to get better,” Davis said. “Winning starts right now and it starts with guys learning our system and working on their games. We enjoy playing together and having a chance to compete against other teams only help to make us better.”
After winning the 1A state championship this past season Davis understands the expectations for his team are high, but feels with what he has coming back, what he's added and with playing right now the team will meet expectations.
"We have a strong chance to get back and like I said earlier that process starts now. The guys love playing summer ball, and it's just as competitive as the regular season. The teams really get after it," Davis added.
John F. Kennedy coach Kenji Peterson will be entering his third season as the head coach of the Hornets and is enjoying the chance to work with his guys this month.
"The league gives our guys a chance to play games and come together as one which is something we have been working on,” Peterson said. “Team unity is important to me and the success of any program depends on a team playing well with each other. We are growing right now and learning.”
Peterson added, "competing against different schools really help us to learn what we're doing wrong and what we are doing right."
East Side, JFK, Shaw, Gentry, Greenville-Weston, D.M. Smith, Cleveland High and McEvans Jr. High have all participated in the league this year.