Springwood basketball program to host pee wee league

Published 11:06 am Saturday, September 30, 2023

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After the rousing success of its youth basketball camp this summer, Springwood’s basketball program is set to host a Pee Wee basketball league beginning on Oct. 1. 

The league is open to boys and girls from kindergarten through sixth grade. Registration is $80 per child, and all the proceeds will go towards the basketball program. 

“This is the first year we have done a pee wee league,” Head Coach Lisa Sampson said. “With the great response that we’ve gotten the last couple of years on the summer camp, I just wanted to provide them with another opportunity to get excited about basketball.” 

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The league is going to run for four weeks, and it wraps up on Oct. 22. The format is going to be very different from other leagues that the kids could choose to be a part of. Instead of focusing solely on competition, the kids will run drills led by Springwood’s coaches and varsity athletes.

“We’re going to format it a little bit differently than a lot of pee wee leagues,” Sampson said. “We’re going to have time at the start of practice where we’re going to work on fundamentals. It’s not all just going to be allowing them to just play games. We’re going to put them in an offensive set, talk about defense.”
Sampson hopes that the drills will help to add structure for the players whenever they do scrimmage. 

The Wildcats rely heavily on fundraising for their basketball program. The youth camp during the summer helped to pay for all of the playdates, like the one the team did at Auburn University. The proceeds are going to help the team to pay for shooting shirts and other equipment for the upcoming season. 

The league also benefits Springwood’s basketball program in several other ways. Most of the kids are enrolled at Springwood. Learning the necessary skills at an early age is going to make them that much better once they can play for the Wildcats. 

“Selfishly, as a coach, yeah we want to teach these kids the fundamentals early so they’ll be ready to go once they hit JV,” Sampson said. 

There is something to be said about the role model opportunities that this gives the younger kids and the varsity players. 

Most of these kids see the varsity players every day at school, and everyone can remember wanting to be like the star athletes. This league gives those kids a chance to see their role models up close, and it gives them the opportunity to learn how to be like them in the future.

“I think it’s great,” Sampson said. “To me, that’s why Springwood is so special because it really is a family atmosphere. “It’s a way for our varsity players to mentor some of these younger kids. They know, they recognize these varsity players. It really is a neat time for them.