By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now
NEWTON—Young basketball players wiggled, squirmed, made faces and chewed on fingernails while intently listening to coach Marcus Coleman give instructions during practice Wednesday night at the Newton Recreation Center.
Those players belong to CM3T, which stands for Courageous, Motivational, Three Trinity, and is a Christian-based, non-profit organization. The “trinity” is “play hard, play smart and play together.”
A total of 35 youth in grades one through eight are enrolled, co-founder Tanee Coleman of Newton said.
They have four teams, which are designated by grade — second and third grade team, third and fourth grade team, fifth and sixth grade team, and seventh and eighth grade team.
This is CM3T’s second year. Initially, they had one team, which is the one their son is on, for second and third graders.
Coleman said her husband, co-founder Marcus Coleman, coaches seventh grade basketball at Chisholm Middle School and he’s seen a decline in kids playing basketball there.
“He wanted to start something to get boys more encouraged to play basketball,” Coleman said, adding they only had eight players last year and had to cancel games.
Marcus had several reasons for wanting to start the local organization.
“This is something that I’ve been passionate about,” he said. “I’ve been playing ever since I was 5 years old.”
He went on to play in high school and college, and is from Corpus Christi, Texas, originally.
“I just wanted to put the game of basketball in Newton,” he said. “I love the Lord and wanted to put two and two together.”
He said that in addition to playing basketball, team members have prayed together and Marcus is teaching the team to praise God through their talents.
“At the end of the day, basketball is just a sport,” he said. “I want these guys to understand that.”
Having salvation is more important.
Michael Mosqueda III, who runs basketball operations and does private training through the organization, said the program is to find a foundation for the kids through Christ.
“A lot of these kids need guidance in their lives,” he said. “It’s not just about basketball. It’s about God and being able to build a relationship with these kids, being a mentor for them. God’s blessed us with basketball. We’re using basketball to show our faith.”
Marcus said they’re looking to expand to Texas since some of his friends there are interested in the organization.
Although they don’t have a brick-and-mortar church building, they think of the organization as their church.
Teams plan to play in the MAYB tournament, with the first tournament June 10 for most of the players. Some of their players will take part in MAYB this week.
“We have a summer and winter season,” Coleman said, adding they started practicing in April for the summer season, which will end in August.
They practice twice a week.
Coleman said she’s a co-founder.
“They tease me and tell me I’m the boss lady,” she said, smiling.
For more information or to sign your child up for teams and/or private instruction, visit cm3t.webs.com.