Seven-year-old Danica enjoyed getting to play winter basketball this year with friends she had made in preschool, who now attend different elementary schools. Her mom, Nicole, also saw some familiar faces. “We got to play ball with friends from the Green Hills YMCA who had played together in the 1980s,” she says. “It was neat that the Y now brings our 2020s generation of children together to play. We had three generations of Y players in the gym one weekend!”
Danica stayed up late one night each week to get in her practice with the team, Nicole says. “The coaches worked with us to make it happen. Danica loved it, so she didn’t mind! Everyone at the Y was very helpful about meeting our schedule needs.”
As it was Danica’s first time ever playing basketball, she had a lot to learn. Thankfully, a few experienced players took her under their wing to show her the ropes. The team’s volunteer coaches also played a big role. “The coaches were super patient with teaching a new player and were always encouraging,” Nicole says. “The girls [on her team] were all great and they asked if she was coming back next season, which made my new player feel very special.”
The team bonded off the court, as well. “Danica’s favorite moment of this past season was the celebration party at Urban Air where a few of the teams celebrated together,” Nicole explains. “The YMCA has created a little basketball ‘family’, bringing all of the Brentwood/Franklin natives and our kids together.” Family members not able to attend in person were able to watch Danica play via Zoom, which Nicole says went above and beyond their expectations.
She credits Danica’s basketball season with helping to bring some ‘normalcy’ back to her daughter’s life. “The Y has done an amazing job with both the basketball and soccer programs during COVID-19,” she says. “We have felt very safe and played through 2020 with no problems. We will stay enrolled every year!”
Learn more about YMCA Youth Sports at ymcamidtn.org/youth-sports.