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McKenzie starts youth basketball league

McKenzie School is seeking to give its basketball program a shot in the arm with the start of its new youth basketball league.

The league is open to both boys and girls across two different age groups, according to McKenzie Parks and Recreation president Chuck Daniels, who oversees the new league.

“We have a 7-9 group, and we have those broken down into co-ed teams because there are more boys than girls,” Daniels said. There are about 28 players in the 7-9-year-old age group in total.

“And we have 10-12 girls and 10-12 boys, with two teams apiece.”

McKenzie athletic director Tony Norris said that the idea behind the new youth basketball league stemmed from an interest in the school’s youth as well as a desire to strengthen McKenzie’s junior varsity and varsity basketball programs.

“We have a lot of interest here in the community for our basketball program, especially in our young grades,” Norris said. “If you look at our school demographics, we’ve grown in those young grades.  We’ve had some people in the community who wanted to see us start a basketball program in the community for the youth, and it was something that our peewee and our town looked at and was able to get started on this year.

“Obviously, the biggest thing that we’re trying to do is teach them the skills at an early age that will help them be a little more successful as they grow up and get into the high school level.”

Norris and Daniels both are confident that the youth league will have a noticeable impact on the McKenzie’s basketball programs in the near future.

“Obviously, when you look at basketball, Georgiana and Greenville are a little bit ahead of us right now, but this will give us a chance to try to do something about that,” Norris said.

“It’ll take a little while—Rome wasn’t built in a day.  But I really feel that we’re going to eventually see the benefits of starting this youth basketball program.”

The league held its second practice Thursday, and Daniels said that his players’ excitement level are a strong indicator of things to come.

His only task is to get the community surrounding the league to share that enthusiasm and get involved.

“We definitely need volunteers,” Daniels said.  “We need more adults to get involved with the kids.

“It’ll pay off in the long run; I know it will. We have to do what we can for the kids.”

For more information about McKenzie’s new youth basketball league, contact Norris or McKenzie principal Miles Brown at 334-374-2711, or Daniels at 334-208-4639.