Upward Season Ends With a Spin

The Crevier family performs their Spin-tacular Basketball Show before attendees of the Upward Awards Ceremony on March 8. Photo by Audrey Van Lohn

Another successful season of Upward basketball through Walnut Creek Church closed Saturday with an exciting awards ceremony. The Crevier family, who travels the world with their unicycle-riding, basketball-spinning Spin-tacular Basketball Show, performed and presented the gospel before a packed gym of Upward basketball players, cheerleaders and their families. Also during the ceremony, all the Upward players were announced, and all cheer squads performed a cheer or dance.

More than 650 basketball players and 100 cheerleaders from grades kindergarten through eighth participated in this year’s season, making it the biggest season to-date. “The season went very well for us,” said Kyle Kurtenbach of Walnut Creek Downtown, who serves on the Upward basketball board. “The Lord provided all of the volunteers we needed,” he said, adding that there was more emphasis placed on lining up community groups to provide volunteers for refs, concessions, and scoreboards at weekend games.

Throughout the nine-week season, games were held at three different Des Moines area locations: Merrill Middle School, Walnut Creek Downtown, and Walnut Creek Windsor Heights.

As in previous years, a devotional video was shown during halftime of each game. The theme of this year’s devotionals was “The Validity of the Bible.” Each week, a Walnut Creek pastor provided a brief video presentation on topics such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The pastors also used the opportunity to share the gospel with the kids and their families and to tell them how much God loves them and what it means to be a follower of Christ.

“Upward brings a Christ-centered league to Des Moines and a major opportunity to reach kids and families with the gospel,” Kurtenbach said. “It also teaches kids the fundamentals of basketball while keeping in perspective the role sports should play in comparison to God.”

In addition to Kurtenbach, other Upward basketball board members include Dave Rude, Chrissy Bloom, Rachel Bohacek, Becca Close, KayDee Cross, Jen Engdahl, Jordan Harlow, Blake Kruger, Ricki Meyer, Leah Wake, Joel Winters and Marc Wright.

By Tim Laehn
Walnut Creek Downtown