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Youth league begins today

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

Dozens of young basketball players will take center stage today.

A new youth basketball league featuring elementary-school students will kick off today, and games will be played every Wednesday through Feb. 20 at Whitesville Road Elementary School.

Teams representing Ethel Kight, Callaway Elementary, Long Cane, Berta Weathersbee and LaGrange Academy will participate in the league.

There will be three games each Wednesday beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The league founder is Otis Gilbert, and he said “everybody’s excited, and we’ll be ready to go Wednesday. We’re just eager and ready to go.”

The games will feature two 18-minute halves, and the players will be using a regulation 10-foot goal.

The idea, Gilbert said, is to give the young players a head start when it comes to learning the fundamentals of the game.

“Each coach I talked to hit the nail on the head each time, and that’s fundamentals,” Gilbert said. “You can run up and down the floor all day, but you’ve got to know how to dribble, to rebound, to pivot. Those are fundamentals.”

Gilbert added that “you want to give them that mindset of getting ready for the next level.”

Gilbert is hopeful to add more teams when the league returns for its second year.

“We’re looking forward to next year getting bigger with some other teams that will come on board,” Gilbert said. 

YOUTH LEAGUE

WHEN: Every Wednesday through Feb. 20. Games will be at 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Whitesville Road Elementary School

WHO: Intra-mural teams from Ethel Kight, Callaway Elementray, Long Cane, Berta Weathersbee and LaGrange Academy