Junior league has been a part of Lincoln High School's social fabric since it first started. Better known as J League, this basketball league has always been a staple of Parks & Rec. If you ask anyone who has ever been an LHS student, they could tell you about J League, whether they were the class of 1971 or the class of 2021.
J league costs $10 to play, which covers uniforms and refs. It is the highest level Parks & Rec basketball league, so it’s our last chance to play with our friends and neighbors. The coaches in J league are varsity basketball players, who draft teams of their peers. There is a regular season of about five to six games and then playoffs, single elimination. At the end you winners get a trophy, though the bragging rights are sweeter.
Last year the league was almost scrapped when signups were low, but it did end up running, though it had only four teams versus its usually six. This year it’s a different story.
More than 60 people (both girls and boys) signed up for the league, which translates to seven teams, one more than normal. Another interesting thing about this year league is that it will have its first female coach in recent memory, Kate Swanson, better known as the starting PG for the Lady Loins.
The beauty of J league is that it lets kids who don’t play basketball show off their skills without making a big commitment to practices or other things. Kids also don’t have to worry about missing games because of other responsibilities because when it comes down to it, this league is for fun. The players who do participate have a chance to deal with the pain of coaching and get a break from the practice grind.
If you play J League you will feel like you are in your very own pro basketball league. The first round picks are most likely the best players on the team.
You have your three to five round picks that fill out your starting lineup, and then you have your bench guys that come from rounds six to nine. Those last three rounds always seem to be the most important, because without a strong bench you aren’t winning anything. Those last round guys seem to always step up in big moments as well. These guys and gals always seem to be the people that drive you over the top.
The best part about J League is that it starts conversations within the school that would have never happened and brings the school together. People talk about who they think has the better team, who they think will win a certain game and who they think will win it all.
It also gives something for everyone to talk about and gain respect for each other, for there is no better tool to gain respect of someone by crossing them up.
This gives everyone a universal conversation starter, whether you are a freshman or a senior.
J league allow people just to learn more about people they don’t really talk to. Things like, ”I didn’t know that AP kid was a 3-point sniper” or “Wow that new kid has some sick handles.” In that way, it opens people up to new people and new friendships. At its core, J- league is just any other Rec basketball league, but when it comes down to it, it means so much more to the people of this town and the students of this high school.