About 200 players participated in league this season at Coytemore Lea Park
By Steve Freker
There is no question that basketball remains one of the most popular sports among Malden’s youth. This summer the annual Mac Singleton Summer Basketball League continued to be a big hit, as about 200 kids in three age divisions competed for championships on the court at Coytemore Lea Park on Mountain Avenue.
The league is run by the Malden Recreation Department, one of many programs organized and supervised by Malden Rec Coordinator Joe Levine and his staff, which includes Laura Perez, Mike Boyd, and high school-aged assistants. The Mac Singleton League included Divisions with players in grades 4-5-6, 7-8 and 9-12. Once again, the league was run in collaboration with the Malden Police Department, with MPD patrol officers, sergeants and school resource officers all lending a hand with coaching or supporting the players each week.
The matching of the police officers and the youth players is one facet that pays big dividends, according to the Malden Rec coordinator. “It builds relationships between our youth and a key public safety agency in our city. The kids and the police officers get to know each other … and it is beneficial to everyone involved,” Levine said.
The six-week season was capped by “Championship Wednesday” on July 5, and three division champs were crowned. Each player on each team received a hoodie for winning the playoffs, and everyone in the park was treated to a pizza party, compliments of the Mac Singleton League and Pisa Pizza (133 Pearl St., Malden) and owner Joe Crowley.
Malden Rec Coordinator Levine said he and the league were grateful to Malden Police Chief Glenn Cronin and Sgts. Phil Halloran, Trent Headley, Rob O’Brien and a slew of others in the Malden PD for their time and passion on behalf of the Malden players. In a special presentation, longtime Malden Police Officer Phil Halloran, who coaches every year in the summer and winter leagues and was recently elevated to Sergeant, was named “Coach of the Year.”
PLAYOFF CHAMPIONSHIP SCORES
In the Grades 4-5-6 Division, the final score was Green Team 26, Yellow 20 in the playoff final.
For Grades 9-12, Yellow Team prevailed over Green Team, 55-49, in a game that went right down to the wire.
In the evening’s finale, for Grades 7-8 Division, Grey topped Blue, 43-41, in double overtime.