boys basketball team

When nine-year-old Kasey started playing winter basketball with YMCA Youth Sports, he was a bit nervous. He had played several years earlier among friends in a church league, but he didn’t know any of his new teammates. “I have to admit that I was a little nervous for him,” says his mom, Iris. “But that nervousness quickly disappeared when I saw one of the more experienced kids begin to talk to him and share some moves on the first day of practice.”

With new friends in his corner, Kasey began to gain confidence in his ability to play the game. In the final game of the season, he was the first to score. “He was so excited that he was able to help his team win the game,” Iris says. “He [loved] being part of a team that allowed him to be himself.”

boy posing with basketball

Our Youth Sports program runs on the dedication of trained volunteer coaches, who are passionate about creating an environment for kids to grow. Iris credits the volunteer basketball coaches for helping Kasey succeed. “Our interaction with the coaches was great. They always encouraged the kids and just let them have fun. The coaches also kept parents informed of anything that came up, like schedule changes.”

Though the basketball season looked a bit different amid COVID-19 guidelines, Iris says that she felt safe enrolling Kasey in YMCA Youth Sports. “I knew that the Y had established recommended CDC protocols, and these protocols were followed by all who were involved in the program,” she says. “We are looking forward to next season!”

In Youth Sports, kids like Kasey are building new friendships, learning teamwork, and finding confidence with basketball, soccer, and flag football leagues and classes. Learn more at