Playing traveling basketball for the St. Cloud Area Youth Basketball Association is quite a commitment. From the tryouts at the beginning of the school year in September,  through the State Tournament in April, the seventh grade team coached by Dan Schaefer will have played over 60 games when it is all said and done. Coach Dan Schafer describes the eight-month process.

The seventh-grade Thunder have been very successful on the season, but coach Schaefer says the most important outcome of the season isn't necessarily wins. He says it's important to make sure he is developing them into basketball players to the best of his ability as well.

Schaefer credits the St Cloud Area Youth Basketball Association, or SCAYBA, with creating a system that maximizes player development.

Just this past weekend, already at 48-11 on the season, the team won a tournament in Brooklyn Park. Avenging an earier loss to the Minnesota Heat, St. Cloud made a Sunday run to win the title.

Earlier in the season, St. Cloud went to the State Tournament and ended up with an impressive finish among a large number of teams.  Out of 176 teams in the tournament, the Thunder finished fifth.

With that successful finish, the team got to up their competition even further with invitations to elite tournaments to compete with the best teams around the midwest.

This weekend marks the end of the marathon for the Thunder. The team will play at Anoka Community College in a tournament for at least four more games, with a chance for a pretty impressive milestone.