Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

North Jersey Adventist Basketball League to Expand, Partner With NBA Cares

Earlier this year, the Maranatha church in Newark, N.J., won the 2014-15 North Jersey Youth Federation Basketball League (NJYFBL) Championship held at the Rosa Parks School in Orange, N.J.

Story by Visitor and Allegheny East Conference staff

Brantley Cadet, championship game MVP, celebrates with leaugue MVP Matchello Michel. Brantley Cadet, championship game MVP, celebrates with leaugue MVP Matchello Michel.

The NJYFBL is a Christian fellowship league comprised of teams from northern New Jersey governed by four league commissioners and four league administrators. It operates in partnership with Allegheny East Conference’s Northern Jersey Youth Federation, a group dedicated to training youth in evangelism.

“This victory was not just for the players, but for all of the Maranatha fans. We are one team, with one mission and one goal all season,” says Pastor Smith Olivier.

Part of that mission was conducting one of the best community service projects to highlight the NJYFBL’s theme of social responsibility, “It’s Bigger Than This.” On two separate occasions, the entire team distributed care packages and ministered to residents of a local rehabilitation center.

LaFayette Trawick, NJYFB commissioner, shares that the goal of the league is “to promote Christian champions both on and off the court.”

To help further that goal, the 2015-16 season will feature more games as well as events sponsored by the NBA Cares arm of the National Basketball Association (NBA), which “will partner and provide support to the league and Jersey Cares to conduct, train and promote volunteer community service events,” says Trawick.

The annual league’s tip-off week of prayer is November 1-7 culminating with a pep-rally service attended by an NBA personality. The NJYFBL is expanding to include 24 church teams and eight youth leagues, and will broadcast its games weekly via 1070 AM and on

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