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Minor basketball first timers wrap up season

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 01:33 pm

Aiden Arcus tried to find a player to pass the ball to during an AMBA game at the Mini March Madness tournament at AE Bowers School on March 15.
Aiden Arcus tried to find a player to pass the ball to during an AMBA game at the Mini March Madness tournament at AE Bowers School on March 15.
Lucas Punkari/Rocky View Publishing

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As eight- and nine-year-old basketball players zoomed around the floor at A.E. Bowers School on March 15 at the Airdrie Minor Basketball Association’s (AMBA) March Mini Madness tournament, the coaches on the benches were just as excited as the athletes.

“To see how excited everyone gets when they are playing, and knowing all of the work that they have put in all year is paying off for them is really rewarding,” Sharks Head Coach Jolene Roberge said.

“Without a doubt, this has been one of the coolest things that I have ever been a part of,” Ninjas Head Coach Jared Arcus added. “It really is a night and day difference when you see how the girls and boys play after getting started together back in the fall.”

The players at the mini level have gotten together twice a week during the course of the winter, as they will practice on a Wednesday night and have games with one another on Saturdays.

“We usually try to work on one thing at a time during the practices,” Roberge said. “Sometimes it can be on their passing skills, or sometimes it can be on their form when taking a shot, it just depends on what they need to work on.”

“The coolest thing is to see them use their practice lessons out on the court,” Arcus added. “We had a skills competition to finish off the year, and my son Aiden and his teammate Macy Mulholland were the last two players left, and they were struggling to even make a lay-up when the year began.”

The biggest thing that the coaches want to do though is to make sure that the players are having fun when they are on the court, and that they want to keep playing basketball in the years to come.

“We want to make them come back time and time again,” Roberge said. “If they aren’t having a good time and they aren’t enjoying themselves, they won’t want to take part in the future.”

“It’s all about having a nice atmosphere for the kids whenever we are helping them,” Arcus added. “I think we’ve done a good job in doing that this year.”


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