Summer basketball leagues make Parks & Rec. return

By: Amy Filippone, Dept. of Parks & Recreation

Boys and Girls Summer Youth Basketball Leagues are back by popular demand. This marks the third year for this fun, relaxed league for boys in grades thee through eight and girls in grades four through eight.   No experience is required, and everyone plays.  The deadline to signup is May 15, and team assignments will be sent by June 15.  Games will begin on June 24 and will be played at the newly refurbished courts at Maple Dawson Park.

Two years ago, the Moorestown Youth Basketball Club (MYBC) approached the Recreation Department with the idea of a Summer Youth League that would bring together the Moorestown Travel team, players from the Recreation Leagues and anyone interested in playing over the summer.  This would allow kids to play with their friends that might not happen during the school year.

“It’s just pure pickup basketball by age group,” Colleen Maguire, on the Board of the MYBC said. “All interested kids sign up as an individual, and we will assign the teams to make sure there’s a competitive balance among the teams.  We co-mingle age groups.”

She said they keep it simple and stress-free with no practices and no organized plays.

“It’s just outside, go play, get some great exercise, see friends, get some ice cream afterwards and have a nice summer night,” Maguire said. “Parents love it.  They bring lawn chairs and socialize.”

The courts at Maple Dawson lend themselves to a wonderful small town feel.  Nestled in a quiet neighborhood, there’s room for lawn chairs and a playground for siblings to run around.  Games are played on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. The games run from Monday, June 24 to Wednesday, July 24 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. (younger children play earliest).  League play is for five weeks with a guaranteed eight games per team.  Volunteer coaches are needed.

“We usually get a volunteer parent to step up and coach. Although, it’s really more of just organizing the team and making sure they’re subbing so often to make sure everyone plays equally, but again, there’re no practices so it’s coaching but I call it more ‘managing’,” Maguire said. “There are officials to make sure the games run efficiently and fairly.”

So come out, bask in the warm summer evenings under the lights and enjoy the simple pleasure of basketball.

“We’ve had two summers of great success where parents are just in their lawn chairs talking on the sidelines, cheering and hanging out but not at all watching the score – there’s no league standings, there’s no reporting of results,” Ms. Maguire said. “I don’t think any kid has every hung his head after a loss or felt bad.  That’s why we really wanted to do it because kids don’t get enough of that unstructured, stress-free play.”

Register soon at www.moorestownrec.com.