By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now
NEWTON—Young basketball players squirmed, squirmed, grimaced and bit their nails while listening intently to coach Marcus Coleman giving instructions during practice Wednesday night at the Newton Recreation Center.
These players belong to CM3T, which stands for Courageous, Motivational, Three Trinity, and is a non-profit Christian organization. The “trinity” is “play hard, play smart and play together”.
A total of 35 kids in grades one through eight are enrolled, Newton co-founder Tanee Coleman said.
They have four teams, which are designated by level – second and third year team, third and fourth year team, fifth and sixth year team, and seventh and eighth year team.
This is the second year of CM3T. Initially, they had a team, which is that of their son, for the second and third year students.
Coleman said her husband, co-founder Marcus Coleman, coaches seventh-grade basketball at Chisholm Middle School and has seen a drop in the number of kids playing basketball there.
“He wanted to start something to encourage more boys to play basketball,” Coleman said, adding that they only had eight players last year and had to cancel games.
Marcus had several reasons for wanting to start the local organization.
“It’s something I’m passionate about,” he said. “I’ve been playing since I was 5 years old.”
He continued to play in high school and college, and is originally from Corpus Christi, Texas.
“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, the team members prayed together and Marcus teaches 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 coaching through the organization, said the program is about finding a foundation for children 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 children, to be a mentor to them. God blessed us with basketball. We use basketball to show our faith.
Marcus said they are looking to expand to Texas because some of his friends there are interested in the organization.
Although they do not have a brick-and-mortar church building, they consider the organization to be their church.
The teams plan to play in the MAYB tournament, with the first tournament on June 10 for most players. Some of their players will be participating in MAYB this week.
“We have a summer and winter season,” Coleman said, adding that they started training in April for the summer season, which ends in August.
They train twice a week.
Coleman said she is a co-founder.
“They tease me and tell me I’m the boss,” she smiles.
For more information or to register your child for teams and/or private lessons, visit cm3t.webs.com.