About 200 Fort Hood children participated in sports and holiday crafts Friday during the Child, Youth and School Services’ annual Sports Extravaganza at the Montague Youth Center.

Isaiah White, 17, started attending the youth center when it opened in July and goes weekly to keep his basketball skills sharp.

As the basketball tournament started, White was nervous while his mother cheered him on from the sidelines of the gymnasium.

“He’s really good,” said White’s mother, La-Nicea Chavis. “I’m loving it. It’s something to keep him active and out of trouble.”

Kristine Fernandez, youth sports director for Child, Youth and School Services, encourages parents to enroll their children in the because of all the activities the organization offers.

“It’s a good place for the kids to be active, learn and have fun all in the same place,” she said. “You really couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The event kicked off the winter sports season with a basketball tournament and youth cheerleaders.

“It’s an annual event and it’s definitely grown,” Hernandez said. “This is the third year that sports has been involved, but it’s been going on for five years.”

Terell Gallien, 13, started attending the youth center and participates in 4-H Club and other leadership organizations, which encourage him to volunteer in the community.

“I come almost every day,” said Gallien, whose mom works at the center. “I like playing basketball and other things.”

For children who are not involved with the youth services, the event was an opportunity to see what the center offers.

Spc. Don Walls, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, lives within walking distance of the youth center and brings his four children to it depending on the different events they have for each age group.

He started bringing his children when he moved to Fort Hood about three years ago.

“It gives them something to do and keep them busy,” Walls said. “There needs to be more out here because there’s not too much for them to do and when kids don’t have anything else to do, they do things they’re not supposed to and get themselves in trouble.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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