By Darrel Wheeler
Encanto’s Lady Bulls basketball program is a local youth hoops institution and a positive experience for the young ladies of southeast San Diego and beyond. For twenty plus years Reggie and Gwen Martin have been giving basketball lessons one lay-up at a time for the girls and boys that frequent Encanto’s gymnasium and recreation center.
The Lady Bulls has been at the top of San Diego’s youth basketball food chain for many years, cranking out victories, trophies, city-wide championships and producing their fair share of high school superstars.
Unfortunately for Encanto’s Lady Bulls, they became so dominant that league rule-makers changed the rules preventing Reggie’s raging Lady Bulls from overpowering the youth league basketball scene.
“The city league won’t let my 12 and under girls play in their league, so now my girls have to play against the boys or they wouldn’t be able to play at all. We can’t get girl teams to play our girls,” said Coach Reggie Martin.
“Star Powell basketball rules committee said we couldn’t play in their league because their league is for beginners. Some of our girls are beginners – Reggie teaches them how to play and they become good players. You can’t penalize him and the girls for that,” said Gwen Martin.
Until the various leagues come to their senses, the Lady Bulls will have to deal with the hand they’ve been dealt. “There is nothing we can do about it, but we will see what happens in the future.”
Regardless of rules and regulations designed to keep the Lady Bulls from participating, the Martins and friends will continue to inspire little girls to dream big and reach for the sky.
“The girls team is good and I like the way they play. The game was fun and we are still undefeated; I hope we stay that way. We haven’t played Skyline yet, but were looking forward to playing them,” said Encanto baller Xaveon Stephens.
Encanto’s boys and girls continue to take it to the hoop every Saturday as they keep on keeping on towards greatness.