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Crack of Dawn? Time for Hoops!

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CARY — For many people, waking up early is the only way to get a lot of things done. That is a big reason why morning sports have taken off in the Triangle.

Every morning a group meets at the YMCA in Cary for a game of early morning hoops.

The basketball game looks like any other you would find at a neighborhood gym. The big difference is that this game starts at 6 a.m.

"It's easier to schedule because I know I'm not going to have any meeting at 6 in the morning," says Jay Holbrook.

Easy scheduling is the main reason Holbrook decided to give morning basketball a shot. With a wife, two kids and a demanding job, early morning was the only time he could fit in a game.

"At 6 in the morning, my wife and kids are still in bed. I'm not taking anything away from them," he says. "It really gets me energized for the day, starts the day right off."

Holbrook organized the morning games about two months ago.

That is when he asked employees at Cary's Bond Park to open the doors early.

For weeks, he was the only one on the court. But that didn't keep him from coming back.

"I absolutely was convinced that there were other people interested in this besides myself, and there'd be a lot of demand once people knew about it," he says.

He was right! Now at least 40 people show up for pre-dawn hoops. They all have something in common -- busy schedules.

"To get exercise any other time is really impossible. I have two kids at home, and one on the way. I love to spend time with them, and this is the only time of day they're sleeping and I can exercise. And I have the energy to do it in the morning, so why not?" says Bill Stephenson.

"It's a lot harder in the afternoon to get out of the office at a set time. You never know what's going to pop up at the end of the day and this way you start your day off with a little bit of an adrenalin rush," said basketball player Michael Grubstein.

Morning basketball at the Cary Bond Park starts at 6 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It costs a dollar for residents and two dollars for non residents.

All you have to do is fill out a waiver form and start playing.

At the Cary YMCA, they start at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and it is free to get in.

You can also play morning basketball at the Chapel Hill Recreation Center. The games start at 5:30 a.m. and it is also free.

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Ericka Lewis, Reporter
David Renner, Photographer
Kay Miller, Web Editor

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