Homeschool basketball program continues to shine
Published 10:00 am Saturday, March 18, 2023
By some estimates, there are over 3 million students getting homeschooled every year.
As such, it might feel like plenty are left without an opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities.
However, this is far from true.
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The Richmond Guardians, which is welcomed to Winchester students and also includes those from Lexington, Berea, London, and other surrounding communities, continues to operate as a homeschool high school basketball program.
“It was established to provide opportunities for homeschool [students] to compete in basketball,” said Vince Stover, a coach with the program.
Formerly the Wellspring Homeschool Guardians, the program just completed its seventh year in existence.
It got its start when a team of individuals began looking for ways to create opportunities for homeschooled students.
During the most recent season, approximately 50 athletes participated; around 30 boys and 20 girls.
Though ages range from ten to seventeen, girls currently start typically around ages twelve and thirteen.
While there is a registration fee and cost, it goes toward the cost of uniforms and other essential needs.
Games are played in Richmond at the First United Methodist Church gym, located on Main Street.
About 25 games take place per season, with the Guardians being one of five teams in the Ohio River Homeschool Conference.
“We’ve got five other homeschool groups that are currently in the conference,” Stover added. “[However,] we compete against public schools, Christian schools, other homeschool groups, [and] things like that as well.”
Among the high school programs that they played this last year were Montgomery County, Leslie County, Bryan Station, Lloyd Memorial, Berea, and Bath County.
Other homeschool programs include Cumberland Christian Home Educators in Somerset, Christian Educational Consortium in Louisville, Louisville Saints HomeSchool, Bluegrass United, Columbus Homeschool in Indiana, and Miami Valley HomeSchool in Dayton, Ohio.
As with many school districts, the program has a middle school, JV, and even a varsity squad.
Having been homeschooled himself, Stover sees the value in athletics.
“It’s such a broad program for kids who just want to learn how to play basketball,” he said. “We’re reaching out and in communication with college coaches, so we can provide that opportunity if they’re good enough to play at the next level.”
However, even more so, community involvement has been one of its largest benefits.
“Community [is] probably the biggest thing ultimately,” he said. “The opportunity to compete is something that not every homeschool [student] has, and so it provides that.”
For more information, contact www.richmondguardians.com or the Richmond Guardians Basketball Facebook page. The team can be emailed as well at email@example.com.