Hoping to get kids playing the sport at an early age, the Prince Albert Community Basketball Association will host a NBA-sanctioned camp in the fall.
In September, the Jr. NBA program will make its debut in Prince Albert as the grassroots basketball camp gives prospective players as young as five years old the chance to get acquainted with the game.
The NBA has been running Jr. NBA programs throughout Asia, Africa and the United States and has just recently introduced the camp to communities across Canada.
PACBA co-ordinator Derek Smith said the program goes hand-in-hand with his organization‚Äôs goal of getting youngsters interested in basketball early to promote the sport‚Äôs development in Prince Albert.
He added that while local participation in high school basketball is steady, he‚Äôs noticed a lull in the sport‚Äôs play at the club level, something he hopes programs such as Jr. NBA will remedy.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs one of our goals, is to get them involved at a younger age,‚ÄĚ Smith said. ‚ÄúHopefully they‚Äôll like the game and continue to play some competitive club basketball 5 or 10 years down the road.‚ÄĚ
The program is open to any boy or girl between the ages of five and seven years.
Running every Sunday for 12 weeks starting on Sept. 28, participants will learn the fundamentals of basketball through 45-minute sessions taking place at St. Mary High School.
With a curriculum set out by NBA Canada, players will learn basic skills such as defending, shooting, dribbling, rebounding and passing through a series of drills and team scrimmages.
‚ÄúThis is the first time this age group has been able to register for a basketball program in Prince Albert,‚ÄĚ Smith said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs something new to the community, getting kids involved in sport at a younger age and keeping them busy and active.‚ÄĚ
The program will be instructed by local coaches from St. Mary and Carlton Comprehensive high schools with some Grade 11 and 12 basketball players lending a hand.
The cost for the 12-week program is $80 with all participants receiving a Jr. NBA t-shirt and basketball.
Those interested in registering are encouraged to contact Smith at 306-922-0057 or firstname.lastname@example.org.