Everyone receives the weekly Thursday email from science teacher Mr. Kevin Ballard about PAPUBA, but what really is PAPUBA. This acronym stands for the Pace Academy Pickup Basketball Association.

The league was started over two decades ago in the early 2000s by math teacher Mr.Jason Smith and an English teacher who is no longer part of Pace. They started the association because they wanted more chances to play pickup basketball during the day. The group plays early mornings on Fridays because of the constraints of gym availability during the busy volleyball and basketball seasons.

Taking the reins from Mr.Smith, Mr. Ballard now spearheads the league after Mr.Smith stepped down a couple years ago after COVID. Open to everyone, though recently frequented by junior and senior students along with a handful of teachers, PAPUBA has become a cherished tradition. Senior Lane Canova said, “I enjoy getting my Friday off to a great start by playing basketball with my friends against faculty.”

Beyond the court, PAPUBA is a great way to be active and build relationships and get to know faculty members outside of the classroom. From the castle offices to the maintenance crew, faculty members from diverse departments converge in the morning competition. Being active in the morning has many proven benefits. Physical activity can enhance energy levels, increase productivity throughout the day, and is associated with improved cognitive function.

Little do people know, there is a regular season and a post-season in the PAPUBA league. The regular season ends the week of GAP day during the seniors’ last official week of school. The post-season occurs in May, but the most committed seniors are still expected to go.So in the words of Mr.Ballard, “Basketball Friday morning at 6:15 in Boyd Gym. Be there.”

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