Monday, April 14, 2014


CHARLOTTE, NC—Last weekend saw the annual April Awesomeness! Charlotte West Stake Young Women’s Basketball Tournament. “Basketball, like Girl’s Camp,” explained Stake Young Women 2nd Counselor Sarah Gustafson, “helps love and sisterhood grow among the young women.” Gustafson added that “oh, and we so admire those few, choice souls who can actually dribble the ball with only one hand—what a special gift!”

“I just love basketball,” exclaimed Melanie Hamilton, of the Charlotte 3rd ward. Hamilton said that, “I love seeing my friends and afterwards we always go to Cracker Barrel together.” When asked about the actual games, Hamilton thought for a moment and said that she “loves to be so close, you know, sitting right there on the chairs, oh, and the outfits are so cute!”

Melanie is not the only young woman who loves the yearly basketball tournament. Kelly Hayward raved about the activity, adding that “we love how it helps us spread the gospel, especially to the three girls from school who didn’t make the varsity team who help us out.” By “help out,” what sister Hayward seems to mean is that they do all of the team’s dribbling, passing, rebounding, defending, and scoring. Hayward clarified that “even though this is about the only time that those girls come to the church, I think that they can feel something special here.”

The basketball tournament, not unlike the equivalent NCAA Men’s and Women’s Tournaments, has its share of drama. Some of this year’s drama came from the new coach for the 3rd Ward. That coach, Sister Wendy Coleman, who had played some college basketball, seemed to have become slightly frustrated with her team. Melanie Hamilton, who played (editorial correction: “participated”) for the team, noted that “Sister Coleman started by saying something about a Princeton offense, and all I could think of was it doesn’t seem Christlike to be offensive.” What really seems to have confused the young sister Hamilton was when her coach told the team to “pick and roll.” Explained Hamilton, “I thought she was saying ‘pick a roll,’ and that just made me hungry for Cracker Barrel.” According to several sources, by the end Sister Coleman “refined” her coaching approach to just yelling “make the ball go through the orange circle!”

“I will say, we can play pretty tough,” concluded Hamilton.“I mean, almost everyone else has tons of scratches all over their arms from playing so hard once we get to Cracker Barrel.”

For their part, the Charlotte West Stake leadership is always pleased with the tournament. According to Stake President Marshall, “it is good, and, at least it doesn’t end in any excommunications, like what used to happen when we had the men’s tournament.”