kid with basketball

This fall, five-year-old Jordan enjoyed his first season of playing basketball at the Y. “He was super excited to play,” says Jordan’s dad, Christian. “He had watched his older brother have fun playing at the Y.”

As part of YMCA Youth Sports, kids like Jordan get to have new experiences like finding friendships outside of school, learning the value of teamwork, and even increasing character-building skills like time management and sportsmanship.

Jordan already knew a few of the other kids playing in the league, but he also had a chance to make new friends. “The coaches spent time with each child and made the season special,” Christian shares. Coach Ray, in particular, was especially encouraging to young Jordan. “He officiated and helped the young kids learn the game,” Christian says. “Ray was a familiar face, as Jordan had participated in youth basketball classes that Ray ran [before joining a league]. Jordan was always excited to see Ray!”

One of Jordan’s biggest accomplishments of his first season on the court was scoring his first basket. “Jordan was so proud that he jumped in the air! He gave high-fives to everybody,” Christian says. As a parent, he enjoyed watching his son work as part of a team. “We were proud that Jordan had worked toward a goal and accomplished it.”

For their family, “Life felt normal again,” Christian says. “The greatest joy was seeing the kids active and having fun. Saturday games became a weekly highlight and were something the entire family looked forward to.”

Though the season looked a bit different with COVID-19 guidelines, Christian also shares that they felt the safety protocols were strong. “Mask-wearing was enforced, and we felt completely comfortable inside the facility for practice and games. The Y provided a nurturing environment [for our son] to learn the game and have fun.”

Learn more about YMCA Youth Sports at