TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – A national basketball tournament was held in Topeka Friday, but participants were not your standard student athletes.
Like any senior basketball player, Jon Dehn wants a successful season. However, Dehn is not a typical high school athlete: he's homeschooled. So when he found out he could play on a team with other students who are also taught at home, he jumped at the opportunity.
“Cornerstone is an organization of a lot of homeschoolers and I had some friends playing for cornerstone and they asked if I wanted to play and I came,” said Dehn
Dehn and his eight teammates on the Cornerstone Family Saints practice twice a week and play about 25 games a season. The Saints took on the Wichita Warriors at the National Division II Christian Homeschool Association basketball tournament, where more than 60 teams from five states are playing to win.
“It's a highlight for our kids. Where public school already has this ready for them in a structure our homeschool families provide this opportunity for kids to have this avenue to teach sportsmanship and self control and just learn how to compete in a very healthy manner,” said Kelly Love, the tournament director.
The young athletes agree.
“I'm ready to go,” said Dehn. “I'm ready to play some ball.”
While it is a competition, event organizers say it's also about building friendships.
“This has become something like a family reunion time for all of us,” said Love. “And we get to see each other once a year and so it's a lot of great fun reconnecting.”
The tournament continues through Saturday. The winners will each receive an individual medal to take home.