ASD adds middle school hoops program

Gruening, Mirror Lake look forward to expansion


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Gruening and Mirror Lake middle schools are excited about the addition of interscholastic basketball to the middle school level.

“We’re extremely happy,” said MLMS assistant principal Kurt Mueller. “There’s a lot of eager anticipation that’s already forming for next year.”

On April 24, the Anchorage School District announced 10 middle schools will offer interscholastic basketball for the 2013-14 school year. ASD estimates an additional 500 female and 500 to 600 male athletes will participate in the sport next year.

Gruening and Mirror Lake both offer intramural hoops, but expanding the program will allow boys and girls teams to compete against the other schools in the district.

“It’s a great addition,” Mueller said.

About a third of Mirror Lake’s students participate in after-school athletics, Mueller said.

“We’re a very fit school,” he said.

Athletics keep kids in shape, Mueller said, which helps them stay focused in the classroom.

“It does a lot for the body and mind,” he said. “Healthy young adolescents are better able to work through the rigors of the academic day.”

Gruening, too, expects its first year of interscholastic basketball to see a large turnout, assistant principal Kelly Parsons said.

The Colts’ intramural program had so many students five coaches were needed this year, she said.

“It was extremely popular,” Parsons said.

Adding basketball will give students the chance to try a new activity, Parsons said.

“The whole idea of middle school is to get kids to experience as many things as possible,” she said. “Any opportunity to do that is super exciting.”

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com.

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