This middle school girls’ basketball team is straight-up conquering in an all-boys league

If anyone ever tells you girls can’t play ball, you need only reply with one word: “Xpress.” That’s the name of a Central Illinois girls’ basketball team that has gone up against an all-boys league and completely dominated — and in the process won national attention, hello New York Times. The girls talked about their experience playing in a boys’ league, and what it’s like to totally crush someone’s expectations of you.

These fifth-grade girls are no joke, bringing no-fuss, smart playing to the court and generally proving that they’re more than good enough to play in a boys’ league. As Rachel Paoletta writes over at MTV:

Seeing these young girls so empowered and so ready to conquer is honestly the most inspiring thing – and it’s the perfect way to start the week. Let’s take a page out of these 11-year-old boss ladies’ books and say deuces to gender barriers.

If we can learn anything from this team of middle-school girls it’s that while everyone else may expect less from us because of our anatomy, if we want something we can sure as hell go for it. We may not always be as victorious as Xpress but there is no reason to give up before trying. No one expected a team of 11-year-old pre-teen girls to beat out nearly every boys’ team they faced, but they did.

Before Xpress was formed, there was some opposition to having a girls team in a boys’ league since “someone could be hurt; boys can be rough,” but the girls of Xpress have held their own. Playing in a boys’ league has only taught them to take on challenges without fear.

A dad from one of the boys’ teams said this to the New York Times about the Xpress girls:

So these girls aren’t just hype, they are really good at what they do. They aren’t on some lucky streak, they’re talented. They sweat for these wins, doing push-ups, and sprint runs during practices.

Even more awesome is, despite getting the attention of people in New York and LA, these girls are pretty humble. They’re not letting the praise get to their heads, but are continuing to work tirelessly with their eyes firmly set on the next win.

Never before has Beyoncé’s “Run the World” felt more appropriate.

[Images via, via]