Rec league coach in it for developing kids' love of the game

Rec league coach in it for developing kids' love of the game

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - We all know in the Tennessee Valley, a number of recreational league games tip off during the weekend.

During this Super Bowl weekend, we caught up with a Referee by the name of Lorenzo Bradford, who goes above and beyond his officiating duties.

"This is my 13th season with these guys," said Bradford, who refs the 5 and 6-year-olds at Hampton Cove Elementary. "You try and coach them as they go along."

"In this particular sport, you gotta play coach, parent, ref and all that at the same time," he said.

True enough, Lorenzo stopped play briefly during our visit to attend to a girl in tears, comforting her after she said she was hit by the ball.

"You get to know them on a first-name basis, and they get to know you."

He said he loves the smiles on his kids' faces when they get the chance to score a basket, something that not everyone gets to do, and which helps develop the team spirit and love for the game.

Lorenzo laughed when he was asked what is the best part of the game. He said that part is when it's all over and the kids get to have snacks.

Despite the joy the children bring him, Lorenzo said he thinks his time to hang up the referee's whistle is drawing near.

"I say no more than about five more years," he said. "Then I'm gonna call it quits."

We'll see how that goes. For the love of the game, not to mention the kids, may be hard to step away from.

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