If you know me, you know I’m a big University of Kentucky basketball fan (as evidenced by the above pic of me, Aaron and Coach Cal!) Basketball is just in your blood if you grew up in the bluegrass.
Last winter, Aaron was old enough to play basketball at the YMCA in Ft. Thomas, which is about a 10 minute drive from our house in Bellevue. We paid our $40 sign-up fee and he started his journey that will most probably end with him as the starting center on the team that helps Coach Cal win his 16th consecutive national championship at UK. (I can’t wait for that day!)
The YMCA league was coached by a few moms and dads. We’d arrive, the kids would “warm-up” with a few practice shots and then play games against other teams. It was a fun experience…..but……
The “Little Hoopsters” was started by a couple of residents who just wanted a local basketball league for our kids in Bellevue. (a recent article here!)
The kids are divided into teams, and each team is coached by 4-5 of the Bellevue High School varsity and JV girls’ basketball players. They spend an hour on drills/skills and then a half an hour in a game.
Nothing against the moms and dads who were coaching at the YMCA, but the coaches of the Little Hoopsters run great drills, and they are really into it…playing little games with the kids and getting them going when the occasional head bump or stumble threatens to derail the whole morning.
More goodness: the same $40 I paid last year went to the Little Hoopsters this year. They use it as a fundraiser for the girls’ basketball team!
Even better: the gym is a three block walk from my house instead of a 10 minute drive, and we get to hang out with other Bellevue peeps while we watch our kids play!
And finally: A chance to find good local babysitters!!!
It’s funny…It’s not that programs like the YMCA are bad. In fact, they’re very good. It’s just that the “Little Hoopsters” is so much better, from a citizens/connecting/capacities/community/sustainability standpoint. I sometimes have a hard time explaining the nuances of this stuff to people. Examples like this make it much easier. They are part of the horizontal democracy we need so desperately in our times.
(Coach Cal, if you’re reading this, Aaron’s already over 4 ft tall and is only in kindergarten. We can sign the scholarship papers whenever you’re ready!)