Niagara Basketball United tryouts start Nov. 24
Niagara Basketball United is ready to hit the floor running.
After being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel basketball program, spearheaded by Brock University men’s basketball head coach Willy Manigat and Niagara College men’s head coach Phil Mosley, is ready to begin tryouts Nov. 24 at the Pelham Community Centre.
“We are very excited,” Mosley said. “We went from concepts to some real planning during the summer and it’s great to actually see it come to fruition and be able to start planning for court sessions with players from the region.”
The program, whose goal is to produce more players who can play at the USPORTS, Ontario Colleges Athletic Association or NCAA level, will be holding tryouts for teams from Grade 5 to Grade 12.
The organization’s board of directors, made up of Manigat, Mosley, Brandon Edwards, Brian Bleich, Pat Sullivan, Tarry Upshaw and Mike Hurley, is thrilled with the response from Niagara’s basketball community. About 200 basketball players have already signalled their intent to try out for the eight teams.
“Expectations during these times about how things will roll out are always kind of difficult, but we are overwhelmed and thrilled by the numbers and happy that so many people have come on board,” Mosley said. “When we started to have people buying in, the expectations that the numbers would be there was a lot higher.”
The organization plans to work with all the coaches and players in the area and won’t interfere in any way, shape or form with any other clubs in Niagara.
Not only has the program attracted quantity, it had attracted quality players. Most of Niagara’s best and brightest players have registered to try out for the teams.
“From age group to age group, that was our goal and our objective to make it inclusive and attract the best players so they can start to work together, train together and we can begin to grow basketball even more in the Niagara region,” Mosley said. “It is great to see so many people on board and buying into the program.”
Because of the pandemic, tryouts for Niagara Basketball United will be non-contact and the coaching staffs at Niagara College and Brock are working on how that will look.
“We are figuring out the best way to assess players while still following the COVID guidelines.”
Taking the element of physicality out of tryouts will make the selection process a little more difficult but not impossible.
“I believe the familiarity we have with players across the board and including more people in the assessment process will hopefully counter that lack of physical play in the tryouts,” Mosley said. “Having criteria beyond the physical aspect of the sport is obviously very important.”
Once the teams are selected, practices are scheduled to start at the Pelham Community Centre in the new year.
Yer to be to determined is where each team will play once the they are allowed to do so.
“We are going to attempt to get them the best competition for their age group wherever that is,” Mosley said.
The tryout schedule includes: Grade 5 (born in 2010) is Tuesday, Nov. 24 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 from 10:30 a.m. until noon and, Sunday, Nov. 29 from 10:30 a.m until noon; Grade 6 (born in 2009) is Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 6 to 7:30 p.m, Saturday, Nov. 28 from noon to 1:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 29 from noon to 1:30 p.m; Grade 7 (born in 2008) is Tuesday, Nov. 24 from 7:30 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 29 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.; Grade 8 (born in 2007) is Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 7:30 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 29 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.; Grade 9 (born in 2006) is Thursday, Nov. 26 from 6 to 7:30 p.m, Saturday, Nov. 28 from 4:30 to 6 p.m and Sunday, Nov. 29 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.; Grade 10 (born in 2005) is Thursday, Nov. 26 from 7:30 to 9 p.m, Saturday, Nov. 28 from 6 to 7:30 p.m and Sunday, Nov. 29 from 6 to 7:30 p.m; Grade 11 (born in 2004) is Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28 from 7:30 to 9 p.m and Sunday, Nov. 29 from 7:30 to 9 p.m@ 7:30-9 pm; and, Grade 12 (born in 2003) is Tuesday, Nov. 24 from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 28 from 9 until 10:30 a.m. and Sunday, Nov. 29 from 9 until 10:30 a.m.
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