YMCA youth basketball expands age range

Published 4:01 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2016

This year’s YMCA youth basketball league is set up to be one of the largest that it has been in quite some time.

A major reason for the increase in participation is the partnerships that have recently been developed with Clanton Middle School, Chilton County High School and Clanton First United Methodist Church.

According to YMCA Executive Director Lori Patterson, the typical ages in recent years have ranged from 7 years old to 13 due to the limited amount of space available at the YMCA campus.

The added venues have allowed for an extended age range, as well as the addition of cheerleading.

Ages 7 through 10 will play and practice at the YMCA, while kids 11 to 14 years old will be at Clanton Middle School and those 15 years and older will call Chilton County High School home.

“It shouldn’t interfere with any of the school’s programs, because we’ll start practice in December and games will not officially start until January,” Patterson said.

Clanton First United Methodist Church has offered its gym as a viable location to accommodate cheer practices.

Hannah Little and Erin Moore will serve as the cheer coaches, while Thomas Hughes will oversee the competition at Clanton Middle School and Deon Timmons will handle CCHS.

Another new initiative to this year’s youth basketball league is that the Clanton Housing Authority’s board has agreed to scholarship children.

This will allow added opportunities for kids that otherwise would not have the financial ability to participate in the program.

“We’re just trying to reach more kids, because we service the entire county,” Patterson said.

The signup deadline to participate is Nov. 30. Uniforms are provided with the registration fee and the first day of basketball tryouts is Dec. 10, so that the teams can be evenly divided.

A cheer clinic and “parents night out” will be held at the YMCA on Dec. 9 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“They’ll learn cheers and chants and dinner will be provided,” Patterson said.

Practice will take place throughout December, but games will not begin until after the New Year. All games will be played on Saturdays.