It has dawned on me that I never shared pictures from our very last 3rd grade Outlaws tournament of the season. Though there's more years to come with the Outlaws, the next time Jaden and his teammates suit up on the court together, they won't be 3rd graders anymore!
Though the unofficial end to the season was the State Tournament in February, our team had one more chance to compete two weeks later in early March to officially wrap up the year in Waverly. It was a good way to end - on a high note - with an undefeated tournament run and another medal to add to the ever-growing collection. It also was a special day for Cody and Jaden because Coach Demetrius asked Cody to help coach from the bench for the first time.
I love how far he's come. Back in November, we were constantly having to remind him to box out and post up. Now it's habit, and he could probably do it in his sleep. :)
He's also getting much better at fighting for position, setting screens even when an official play hasn't been called, and has a much-improved natural feel for the flow and speed of the game.
I love this picture because of what it reminds me of. Jaden and his bed bud Jack don't often get to be on the floor at the same time. When Jack was in during this game, Jaden was keeping a close eye on him from the bench, and right after this picture was taken, Jack made an excellent basket, and Jaden pumped his fists and gave him a big cheer from the bench. I was so proud of him for being so genuinely happy for his best bud, and it's so much fun watching him grow as a friend and a teammate.
We've been enjoying some time off for the last few weeks. The boys are still getting together weekly for open gym and light practices but won't play in another tournament until summer. Our coaches want them to be kids, to not get burnt out, and to still look forward to tournaments when they do have them. It's working - because Jaden's already asking when the next one is. He's missing it! And though it's been nice to have some freedom on the weekends again, we're missing our Outlaw family, too. This unexpected invitation that came to us last Fall has become a great blessing we're all thankful for.
We often got teased during football season about Jaden's loud cheering section, and that same sentiment carried over into basketball season. I received several comments throughout the months about how lucky we are to have grandparents that show up on a regular basis - no matter how far they have to drive.
So what's our busy family up to now? Well, swimming lessons started last week, and baseball registration is this week with practice starting in a few weeks already. So in other words -- Mama's mini-van is still getting plenty of use. ;)