August 24, 2013
PDT Sports Writer
In three years, Josh Morales has turned a small event into a much larger organization.
Morales, who worked at the Salvation Army at the time, decided to start up a basketball league. Since then, the Salvation Army Basketball Association has went from just four players to 170 on 19 area teams.
It was Sunday during the championship game, 3-point shootout and all-star game that Morales announced that he will step away from the league that he founded for the seminary.
“This has probably been my favorite part of the job here, getting to know these guys and seeing them improve their game and grow in Christ,” Morales said in a written statement. “I’m going to miss it and everyone here.”
History was made during that day as the team known as the Blazzers became the first in SABA to run through its schedule, completing a 14-0 mark with a win over the Boston George. Anthony Williams was named the playoff’s most valuable player.
The all-star game went to the Northeast team as they prevailed over the Southwest squad.
While it’s a tough decision to make, Morales feels his vision — with the help of a variety of financial contributors such as SOMC, Sean Boldman American Family Insurance, Dakota’s Roadhouse, Newberry Sporting Goods, American Legion Unit 471, All Seasons Heating and Air, Kennel Lodge, Carpets Plus, The Republican Club, Pack’s Auto Center, Buffalo Wild Wings, Enterprise, Jennifer Kephas, William McKinley and Brown Medical Center — is on the right path.
“This league is really important to not only me, but to these guys and to the community,” Morales said. “It’s helped us raise awareness of the Salvation Army and what we do here, it’s kept these guys off the streets and it’s kept them involved in a healthy activity where they hear about the love of Christ.”
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.