It’s time to hoop it up at YMCA

Published 9:13 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Basketball plays a special role in YMCA history. James Naismith invented the game in 1891 at the International YMCA Training School to give young men an active game to play inside during cold winter months. The game quickly grew in popularity. Through the years, many famous athletes have competed in our Youth Basketball Leagues. Christian Laettner and Cliff Robinson played on the same Y team growing up. Of course, not every child who plays basketball at the YMCA becomes an NBA player, but every child will learn the value of teamwork while making friends and creating great childhood memories by participating in our basketball league.

The Suffolk Family YMCA Youth Basketball League registration begins this week. The league is open to both YMCA of South Hampton Roads members and non-members. Children ages 3 to 18 are invited to play in our league. Registration is open through Nov. 15, 2008. Players practice one evening each week and play games every Saturday. The league practices begin Dec. 1, 2008 and run through the end of February. Member fees are $45 per child and non-member fees are $100 per child. Every child who plays in the Youth Basketball League will receive a YMCA Basketball reversible jersey and a reward at the end of the season. Scholarships are available to children whose families are unable to pay the full rate through our Open Doors scholarship program.

As with all youth sports programs, the basketball league coaches will teach our players the fundamentals of basketball while using our core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith in an “everyone plays, everyone wins” environment. The league play will also be governed by our players’ creed: “Win or lose, I pledge before God, to play the game the best that I can, to be a team player, to respect my opponents, the rules and officials, and to improve myself in spirit, mind and body.” At the Suffolk Family YMCA it is our goal to build a players self worth while improving their athletic skills.

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Mr. Rene Vargas, Suffolk Family YMCA youth and family programs director, will run the youth basketball league this year. He is currently seeking volunteers, coaches, assistant coaches, referees and team parents for the season. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact him at 934-9622, extension 12. Parents may register their children for the league by visiting the Member Services Desk. Members of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads may register online at Come join us for another great basketball season at the Suffolk Family YMCA.