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SYI Basketball for 1st-6th Graders

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By Alicia Dziak

Are your kids ready to perfect that layup or three-pointer? Maybe they need to work on a legal dribble or an accurate bounce pass? Or perhaps they’re just interested in learning the game and what makes it so great? No matter their skill level, SYI’s basketball program is here to help! Designed for kids in grades 1-6, the program is divided into three age groups: grades 1 and 2, grades 3 and 4 and grades 5 and 6, and runs for 10 Saturdays, starting Nov. 25.

“One of the things that has been missing in Springville has been a feeder program to help develop basketball players,” said Bob Gainey, PE teacher at SES and varsity girls’ basketball coach, who is one of the organizers of this program. “The goal of this program is to implement a 1st-6th grade program, which varies depending on age groups, to provide the kids a chance to learn the game from Varsity basketball players and coaches.  Another goal is to develop leaders amongst the boys and girls varsity basketball teams.  Through this program our players will act as coaches during skill stations and games.  This provides the young adults the opportunity to teach, develop communication skills, and influence future basketball players moving forward.”

The youngest level will be run by Andy Bobseine, who is the director of the Springville Boys and Girls Club, and also the boys’ varsity basketball coach for Gowanda. This level features skill stations throughout the day’s events, daily practices with designated teams, and game play for the last 45 minutes. The focus at this level is teaching proper form with shooting, defending the ball, rebounding, and passing. Parents are also needed to assist with this level. This level will play at the SES gym from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

The middle level, for 3rd and 4th graders, will be run by Gainey. Skill stations, challenging competitions, team practices, and team games will be the highlights of this level, with a focus on being great teammates, executing simple basketball plays (V-cuts and ball screens) and an overall better understanding of the sport for the kids. This level will play at the Middle School gym from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

The 5th and 6th grade program will be run by Greg Miller, SGI middle school teacher and boys’ varsity basketball coach. More competitive, preparing for school basketball, skill stations, team practice and team games. At this level, coaches want to see the players working well on the court together and seeing their skill level improve to the point where they are comfortable and confident on the court. This level will meet at th High School gym from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

The camp itself is co-ed, but genders will likely be split for games. All aspects of the program will be held at the schools, so no travel is required.

“This is our 6th year running the program, though this is the most involved basketball initiative we have implemented since we started this through SYI,” Gainey explained. “We are now touching on almost all grade levels before the students reach modified sports.”

While the two younger divisions are full, there is still space left in the oldest division. Registration is available at www.syionline.org.

If you have a child who is interested, but didn’t make it into this session, the program will be offered again in the spring. “We are going to be running the same program in the spring,” said Gainey. “The goal is to get children playing at a younger level and more frequently.  If we can get players in grades 1st-6th to play 20 Saturdays out of the year, then we are making significant progress in developing basketball players in our area.”

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