Jeramy Bunch finds ways to fit fundamentals into the fun.

A volunteer coach in the Staunton-Augusta Family YMCA’s Youth Basketball League, Bunch’s practices are both high-energy and hilarious. They are also highly instructive. Helped out in practices by Jeremy Bryant, the pair instructs the young athletes on defensive positioning and other skills.

It showed in the team’s Saturday morning game, as Bunch’s squad was able to emerge victorious.

For Bunch, however, the league isn’t primarily about wins and losses, even though he loves to win. His YMCA Adult Basketball League team, which Bunch captained,  also won the non-competitive division championship.

Bunch is a YMCA Youth Basketball League coach simply because he loves passing down his passion for the game.

“I love the game of basketball and teaching youth to love the game,” Bunch said. “I want them to learn about hard work and teamwork, and I hope the lessons they learn here will pay off in their future.”

Bunch is one of approximately 25 coaches volunteering their time, passion and knowledge to invest in young athletes competing in the YMCA Youth Basketball League. Although the weather hasn’t been fully cooperative, the league is still off to a great start.

“I just want the young athletes to learn how to play the game,” said Eddie Santiago, program director and Teen Center supervisor at the YMCA. “I want them to learn leadership and sportsmanship, and I want them to learn how to play together.”

The league also provides leadership opportunities for older teens as they volunteer at the YMCA as referees and scorekeepers.

“There’s a couple referees that I didn’t even ask, they asked me,” Santiago said. “So far, so good. They’ve handled things very professionally. I’m very proud of them.”

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