Youth basketball team wins YMCA championship

The Winter League YMCA champions celebrate their victory during the banquet. Amare Barber (not pictured), Chad Goldsmith, Alvin Hughes, Michael Jordan, Corion Marshall, Justin Powell (not pictured), Remy Pratt, Chris Thorns and Desmond Williford were the players on the team.

Youth basketball team wins YMCA championship
March 28
01:30 2019

Lester Nowlin is no stranger to winning. Over the years, he has won several championships with youth basketball teams at the Winston Lake YMCA. Nowlin’s added to his impressive coaching career with another championship; this time it was the 2019 Winter YMCA Basketball League championship.

Nowlin has a tradition of holding a banquet for his championship teams at Tony’s Lounge, 117 Walkertown Avenue in Winston Salem. This year’s banquet was held this past Sunday, March 24.

This was the first year Nowlin coached a travel team at the YMCA. His teams competed against the best teams from Ys across the city in the 13-14 year old age group. He said this was one of his favorite teams to coach in all his years of coaching.

“This season was great and I was doing the travel team for the first time, which meant we went all over the city to play the elite teams at other YMCAs,” said Nowlin. “Everything was great, the players were great, and I enjoyed coaching them.”

During the banquet, Nowlin handed out several awards to his players. He also provided a meal for the players and their families for their hard work during the season.

Nowlin said this year’s team was more educated in the game of basketball than others he has coached in the past. He said he still has to mold the young men into becoming team players versus individual players.

As a first year travel team head coach, Nowlin said his goal was just to try and “get his feet wet.” Coming away with a championship his first time out was not an immediate expectation of his, but once he saw the talent on the team, it became an achievable goal.

“Once I saw the players I had and once they decided to buy into the system I implemented, I knew what I had and I knew we were headed towards the championship,” he said. “I kind of knew we were going to get there, but didn’t know we were going to win.

“This was probably my favorite season that I had, probably because of the three MVPs that I had and it was very hard to choose just one,” said Nowlin.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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