Mar 9, 2012
Youth Programs Foster Success In High School

Beaumont Enterprise, David Henry and Jared Ainsworth

http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/sports/hs/article/Youth-basketball-programs-can-lead-to-success-at-3392936.php

The four Southeast Texas high school basketball teams that made it to Friday and Saturday’s regional basketball tournament – Ozen, Hardin-Jefferson, Silsbee and Kountze – all have strong youth basketball programs.

Coaches and players believe it isn’t a coincidence.

Teaching early can be a foundation for future success.

“It’s why I believe our program is what it is, said Hardin-Jefferson assistant coach Clay Davis, whose team has reached the region tournament seven years in a row. One of our philosophies is that you can’t replace game experience. Even though it’s four-year-olds playing against four-year-olds – it’s kind of like herding cattle at times – the fact that they’re getting out there and learning the rules and getting that game experience is invaluable.”

Most area cities, including Beaumont, have a Little Dribblers program, a national youth basketball league for children age 6-14. Port Arthur has a league through its Y.M.C.A.

Vidor and Orange do not have a competitive youth basketball league. Both of those high schools, Vidor and West Orange-Stark, did not make the playoffs in boys basketball this season.

In girls basketball, West Orange-Stark only won one district game. Vidor made the playoffs in girls basketball, but the school of more than 1, 400 students did not have enough players participating to have more than a varsity and junior varsity team.

Both Vidor and Orange do have an “Upward” program, a youth basketball league for players in first through sixth grade, conducted by the First Baptist Church in both cities.

“Upward” does not keep score. Players are also obligated to have equal playing time each game. Vidor athletic director Jeff Mathews said “Upward” is not as competitive as Little Dribblers.

“There are some things I like about it, like every practice having a lesson and a Bible verse, Mathews said. But I think it does put you behind from a competitive standpoint. I think we really could benefit from a Little Dribblers program.”

Nederland coach Brian English, who has watched Nederland’s Little Dribblers program grow the last seven years he has been there, said he tried to establish a Little Dribblers program in Vidor, unsuccessfully, while he was the coach there.

“I think the biggest obstacle was not enough interest year in and year out, English said.

The cost for Little Dribblers, $95 per child, is not much more expensive than Upward, which is $80 per child.

, Youth Programs Foster Success In High School

Beaumont Enterprise, David Henry and Jared Ainsworth

http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/sports/hs/article/Youth-basketball-programs-can-lead-to-success-at-3392936.php

The four Southeast Texas high school basketball teams that made it to Friday and Saturday’s regional basketball tournament – Ozen, Hardin-Jefferson, Silsbee and Kountze – all have strong youth basketball programs.

Coaches and players believe it isn’t a coincidence.

Teaching early can be a foundation for future success.

It’s why I believe our program is what it is, said Hardin-Jefferson assistant coach Clay Davis, whose team has reached the region tournament seven years in a row. One of our philosophies is that you can’t replace game experience. Even though it’s four-year-olds playing against four-year-olds – it’s kind of like herding cattle at times – the fact that they’re getting out there and learning the rules and getting that game experience is invaluable.”

Most area cities, including Beaumont, have a Little Dribblers program, a national youth basketball league for children age 6-14. Port Arthur has a league through its Y.M.C.A.

Vidor and Orange do not have a competitive youth basketball league. Both of those high schools, Vidor and West Orange-Stark, did not make the playoffs in boys basketball this season.

In girls basketball, West Orange-Stark only won one district game. Vidor made the playoffs in girls basketball, but the school of more than 1, 400 students did not have enough players participating to have more than a varsity and junior varsity team.

Both Vidor and Orange do have an “Upward” program, a youth basketball league for players in first through sixth grade, conducted by the First Baptist Church in both cities.

“Upward” does not keep score. Players are also obligated to have equal playing time each game. Vidor athletic director Jeff Mathews said “Upward” is not as competitive as Little Dribblers.

“There are some things I like about it, like every practice having a lesson and a Bible verse, Mathews said. But I think it does put you behind from a competitive standpoint. I think we really could benefit from a Little Dribblers program.”

Nederland coach Brian English, who has watched Nederland’s Little Dribblers program grow the last seven years he has been there, said he tried to establish a Little Dribblers program in Vidor, unsuccessfully, while he was the coach there.

“I think the biggest obstacle was not enough interest year in and year out, English said.

The cost for Little Dribblers, $95 per child, is not much more expensive than Upward, ” which is $80 per child.






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