BARRINGTON, Ill. (WLS) -- A popular summer basketball camp has tipped off in the northwest suburbs.
The youth-created league is all thanks to some former Barrington High School students who were benched during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has all the drama of an NBA championship game, as a buzzer-beater shot helps one of the Barrington summer league teams advance, giving them bragging rights for the rest of the summer.
"It's a pride thing. Everybody doesn't want to lose," said Ryan Chang, a summer basketball commissioner.
The league was born out of a discussion in the lunchroom at school and almost immediately caught on to include nearly 200 high school kids.
The Barrington summer basketball league was started by kids, and is run by kids for kids.
"We thought it would be like close friends and all of the sudden there's 24 teams. Everybody wants to play," said Nick Bordenet, fellow summer basketball commissioner.
The league includes 24 teams playing a 14-game schedule -- all for fun. Some are high school basketball players and others have never played the sport before.
Organizers said the idea was to make it accessible for everyone.
The winner also comes away with a nice trophy.
"This year I made my work schedule around this league. It's the most important thing in my life now and a lot of these other guys too," said Chris Kilayko, a summer basketball league player.
Each team pays a $15 entry fee, which goes to pay for equipment. They have no referees and they call their own fouls. Each team also comes up with their name and jerseys.
It's brought the whole community together watching the games this summer.
"We don't make any money. We just like doing it," said Austin Molinaro, another summer basketball commissioner.
The four commissioners of this league are all recent graduates who are heading off to college in the fall. They said they're looking for some underclassmen to take over the league and keep it going in the future.