By Josh Dolmage
Staff reporter

Scoring the winning basket at the buzzer of the championship game is the dream of every basketball player.  Children spend hours in the gym or in ­­their backyard playing imaginary basketball games in their heads.  They count down the final seconds out loud and hoist up the “game winner.”  As they watch the ball swish through the net, they make the sound of the buzzer with their mouths. Basketball players everywhere have this vision.  However, I wonder how many young athletes are imagining hitting the game-winning shot of a Junior Varsity game.  ­­­­

Until this year, the men’s basketball team has consisted of a Varsity team and a lesser known Junior Varsity team.  This season, however, the men’s program dropped the Junior Varsity team.

While they are typically mentioned less, I feel that a JV team can really help out a college sports program.  Having a JV team benefits many different peopl, including the players, coaches, families, schools and community.

A JV team can help out the players who are less likely to log several minutes at the Varsity level.  Some athletes love the game and do not get the chance to play at the college level.  Having a JV team can help more athletes to achieve their goal of playing at the next level without as much pressure.

Coaches can benefit from a JV team because they are able to watch the players grow and become better athletes.  While they are playing JV, they are still playing games against college competition.  If a varsity player was to get injured, a JV player would be able to move up and cover their spot.

Scholarships may also be given out to JV players.  This can help more people to go to college.  A college basketball team usually has 12 to 15 people on it.  However, having a JV team can help 12 to 15 more students attend college.  Financial aid and loans may not be enough to get someone into college.  Scholarship money may be exactly what they need to continue their education.

My roommate is a perfect example of how college basketball changed his outlook on education.  He had made up his mind that he wasn’t going to attend college.  However, a few days before school started, he was called and offered a chance to play at a Junior College in Illinois.  After playing two years at the Junior College, he was offered a scholarship from Southwestern.  He is currently in his third year of college. If it wasn’t for basketball, he never would have carried on his education past high school.

Adding a JV team also means adding more games to the schedule.  This means that there will be more chances for the community to watch basketball games, which in turn gives the school a chance to raise more money with admission, concessions, and paraphernalia. The people coming to the game will have the opportunity to see exactly what Southwestern College is like.

Bringing the JV team back to the men’s basketball program will do nothing but help. Coaches would love for experienced players to play for them.  Many athletes would love the chance to play college sports.  The JV team would provide oppurtunites to many people.

Josh Dolmage is a junior majoring in communication.  You may e-mail him at josh.dolmage@sckans.edu.