The Paso Del Norte School boys and girls teams took home the championships in this year’s Socorro Independent School District Volunteer Sports Program (VSP) basketball league after they won the final games in early March at Pebble Hills High School.
“Some students don’t really get the chance to play basketball in elementary school,” said Azulyn Montero, a fifth grader who played on the Paso Del Norte School team. “I am super excited that we won our first championship… It’s fun, you get to meet new people, and experience how it feels to be in a sport.”
Nineteen SISD schools participated in the volunteer basketball program, which gives the students an opportunity to have fun, get exercise and experience friendly competition.
The VSP also allows parents to get involved by serving as coaches and helping the teams throughout the season. The basketball playoffs included a single elimination bracket with the top four teams from each of the two divisions facing off.
This was the second year for the VSP to include basketball, which was a great addition for students and parents.
“This season went really well,” said VSP basketball league coordinator Chris Concepcion. “We had so much parent involvement and support. The kids were so excited for this year. Since the first day of school they were already asking me, ‘When does basketball season start?’”
Currently, the basketball program is offered to fifth graders only. Other VSP sports include soccer and track and field. Track and field was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
VSP Community Service Supervisor Isabel Griego said the program is successful due to the community assistance and the support from Superintendent Jose Espinoza, district leadership and the SISD Board of Trustees.
“This is an amazing opportunity,” Griego said. “We are the only district in the city to do this.”