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Basketball in the Carolinas is more than a passing season – it’s a celebration of a sport that teaches teamwork and perseverance. At the YMCA, it’s also about developing youth into healthy, productive kids who are learning technical and leadership skills at the place where the game was invented.
In 1891, a young YMCA instructor named James Naismith developed a game that was the adaptation of several sports. It became an instant success, and thousands of people have been a part of this American sport.
Stephanie Roe, YMCA of Greater Charlotte Association Athletic Director and a former Davidson College basketball coach, is passionate about the Y and the game of basketball.
“Basketball at the Y is an incredible opportunity for kids to come together in an encouraging environment, be a part of a team, and develop skills that are meaningful on and off the court,” Roe said. “When we talk about things like sportsmanship, teamwork and doing your best – those elements come to life in our Y basketball leagues.”
It’s a passion for the game, a focus on strong volunteer coaches and a commitment to connection and community that makes the Y such an enduring place for learning and playing basketball. “Winning is fun, but nothing beats a season of making friends, learning new skills, and understanding what a commitment to team looks and feels like,” Roe said. “And parents?” she offered up with a smile, “There is nothing better than watching them cheer on their healthy, happy kids and celebrate at our games.”
With 19 branches in a four-county area, connecting with a Y team is easy and allows for youth across the area to play and get active in age-appropriate leagues that align with their skill level. “The Y is a place where development and healthy competition come together in a fun, winning and affordable environment,” said Roe.
And the proof is in the program – more than 20 sites in the greater Charlotte area will host a Y league this season. “It’s great when you see youth celebrate their 5th, 6th and 7th year in a YMCA basketball league,” she said. “That’s when we know we’re making a difference.”
To learn more about basketball offerings at the YMCA or to register for a league near you, visit their website. Basketball registration closes soon with practices and games beginning in December.