TPRD set for basketball season

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 28, 2000

Sports Editor

If you have a child that wants to play basketball, just look up Vaughn Daniels and the Troy Parks and Recreation Department.

Recreation basketball is something that gets lost during January and February when the high school basketball season kicks into full gear, but nevertheless many varsity, collegiate and professional players got their start in a sparsely crowded gymnasium, where the hoop seemed unreachable and just having fun was what the game was all about.

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It wasn’t about how many points you scored or how man steals you made or how many rebounds you collected. It was about fun and friendly competition.

That’s the attitude which Daniels and the TPRD are projecting as recreation basketball prepares to start up in early January.

"One of the rules we have is that every player on the team must play one full quarter of a game," said Daniels. "It must be uninterrupted and from the beginning to the end of the quarter. That’s a requirement. This is recreation ball and we want it to be competitive, but not so competitive that no one else gets a chance to play. And besides, who’s to say that a kid whose abilities might not be as good as someone else’s, will not get better with playing time? That’s why we give everyone a chance to play."

As of Wednesday, Daniels said 135 children had registered to participate in basketball this season and said the TPRD plans on a start date of Jan. 6 for the Boy’s 10 and under and Girl’s 8-12 leagues. As of now, there are six teams in the Boy’s 10 and under league, while there are five teams competing in the Girl’s 8-12 league.

"Games will be played at the Elm Street Gym and possibly some at the Academy Street Gym also," said Daniels.

Daniels said another league, the Boy’s 11-13, should also be starting up around the same time.

"We were slow in getting kids to play and where it used to be the Boy’s 11-12 year olds, we went ahead and merged two leagues together in order to form a league of four teams. They will play at the Academy Street Gym, but as of right now we haven’t organized the league and hopefully we’ll get them started the first part of the year," said Daniels.

This season, said Daniels, league games will be played once during the week and again on Saturday mornings.

Daniels also said their was a special treat in store for the youngest boy’s and girl’s teams when the season begins on Jan. 6.

"We’ll have a little mini-game at the half of each one of Troy State’s basketball games," said Daniels. The Lady Trojans take on Jacksonville State at 2 p.m. in Trojan Arena on Jan. 6, with the Trojans taking the court at 7 p.m. for a game with Mercer University.

Daniels said at the end of the recreation basketball season, which usually concludes in mid-February, a tournament team will be selected that will compete in the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association district tournament.

"Our district includes Greenville, Luverne, Eufaula and Dothan to name a few," said Daniels.

While high school and junior varsity basketball action usually starts in November, Daniels said the TPRD starts recreation ball in January for a specific reason.

"If we started in November with practice, we’d go a little into December before we had to stop for the holidays," he said. "Then we’d have to try to start over again in January. We just like to start at the first of the year and go straight through so we’re able to end up before baseball starts."

Right now, Daniels said coaches for the league are set, but anyone wishing to volunteer or help in anyway should contact the TPRD.