Graham's First Basket

In the YMCA's youth sports leagues and classes, kids can learn to love the game—be it soccer, flag football or basketball—in an environment that's safe, encouraging and nurturing. Instead of focusing on winning and losing, our team of volunteer coaches works on improving each child's skills to focus on growth.

For Graham, basketball classes were a new experience. "When he started, he couldn't dribble or even get close to making a basket," says mom Reagan. "By the end [of the classes], he could do both! He learned to play defense, as well."

Graham was the shortest kid on the court, Reagan says, but he found his own personal victory at the very end of last year's classes. "He scored the first goal in the last game. To see the smile on my son's face made the whole class worth it. He lit up. He was so happy and proud of himself!"

After learning the ropes, Graham now loves to play sports. "I enjoyed watching him have fun, try something new, and interact well with the other kids and coaches," Reagan says. "Every week he would count down the days until it was time for practice again. It was fun to watch his excitement." Graham has signed up again for basketball this fall and, as Reagan says, he's excited that he's old enough to play 'real' games now.

From Reagan's perspective, the coaches made all the difference. "The coaches had a great balance of fun and learning! Graham looked forward to seeing his coaches every week." She says that it was a great experience for their family. "I would recommend it because Graham had so much fun—which isn't the case with everything he tries. It was easy and laid-back from a parent's point of view, which is important in our busy lives."

For more information on youth sports leagues and classes and to sign up for one of our upcoming seasons, please visit