boys basketball team

For active kids, staying inside in a pandemic made for a tough year. In YMCA Youth Sports, our goal was to bring back a little normalcy for kids on the court, like seven-year-old Cameron. Though Cameron had played basketball before, he loved coming back to be part of a team in our winter basketball program. He also hit a three-pointer!

His dad, Ryan, appreciated that the volunteer coaches made sure all of the players on Cameron’s team had equal time on the court. “The score was important but not the main focus of the game,” he says. “[It was more about] fundamentals and being a good team player. The referees also did a great job of teaching the rules.”

boy with basketball

One highlight for Cameron was a special birthday celebration. His teammates serenaded him on his big day. “Due to COVID-19, we weren’t able to have a huge birthday party,” Ryan says. “It was nice that the team did that for Cameron.”

Though pandemic restrictions complicated the season, Ryan enjoyed the fact that family members from across the country, including Cameron’s grandparents, were able to tune in online via Zoom to see his team play. “The Y made the best of the situation,” he says. “Practices were run with health and safety in mind, which allowed the kids and fans to participate in normal activities without having to think about COVID-19. It was safe, fun, and it provided [my son] an opportunity to focus on fundamentals, teamwork, and sportsmanship.”

Learn more about YMCA Youth Sports at