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franklin county times

Brothers compete on opposing youth basketball teams – both coached by dad

For 10-year-old fifth-grade brothers Collin and Cross Bell, a little competition isn’t a bad thing. The Phil Campbell boys have been playing basketball together for four years. Originally on the same 10U basketball team – coached by their dad, Charles Bell, as head coach, along with Kelly Ergle as assistant coach – they now play on separate teams, the PC1 10U Boys and the PC2 10U Boys, while the coaching arrangement is the same.

It’s a decision Charles Bell said gives all the players more opportunities.

“Splitting them up into two teams gives each kid more playing time. Having more individual playing time helps the kids develop into better athletes,” he explained. “They get better and win more games, and kids want that. It helps improve their self-confidence.”

For Collin Bell, who plays with the PC1 10 U Boys, it’s a little weird being on different teams, but he it’s something he is getting used to.

“I enjoy playing because I love the competition,” he said.

PC2 10U Boys’ player Cross Bell said he’s enjoying having more playing time as a result of the change.

“I’m doing two or three times better than I was last year. I’ve been able to dribble, and I’ve gotten more playing moves,” he explained. “I’m getting better at the game. Having more playing time has made me develop better skills than I had last year.”

Their mother, Kristie Bell, said both boys have worked hard to get to where they are.

“It’s now a house divided with one brother playing against the other, but in the end, they’re both winners for the hard work they put in and the fun times they have as they improve in skills and strengthen positive character traits,” she said. “We’re very proud of them.”

The teams played against each other Feb. 26 for a chance to compete in the Northwest Alabama Youth Basketball championship. The PC1 10U Boys qualified for the NWAYB championship, which was held March 5 in Belmont, Miss. They won the all-over championship for their age division.

While the official season is now over, they are continuing to play travel basketball.

“We coach our kids to play against themselves,” explained Coach Bell, “to play to the best of their ability, but it’s also important to have fun along the way. They learn life lessons that are important no matter what they go on to do.”

He said while winning is the desired goal, it’s not the most important thing. “I would rather these boys become great men as a result of what they have learned while playing than to be great athletes.

“One day, I won’t remember how many games were won or lost, but I’ll remember what kind of men they became,” the coach added. “Win or lose, you do it with class and dignity. These kids have grown up playing together at everything, and they continue having fun and growing in skills and character along the way.”

“We’re proud of all they have accomplished.”

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