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Sign ups for youth basketball league starts Friday

By Staff | Oct 30, 2019

The Sheriff Youth Activities League, in partnership with Lee County Parks and Recreation, will host a 2020 Spring Basketball League with registration beginning Friday.

The youth basketball league is for children ages 8-15 and will run for 12 weeks. Team practices and games will be scheduled on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m., depending on the age/division and will be held inside the Veterans Park Recreation Center, 55 Homestead Road S., Lehigh Acres.

According to Program Director Tim Berti, the long-running program is entirely run by volunteers and helps to instill values, promote skill development and good sportsmanship.

“It’s a great start for beginners and also good for those with more experience. There are the smaller kids that haven’t yet built their skills and the older kids who still need to build on their experience. We have kids that come play in this league and then go on later to play for high school basketball teams,” Berti said.

Another aspect of the program is that it’s run by the local Sheriff’s Office and the volunteers who donate their time to coach.

“Many of these kids come to learn the basics and build on the fundamentals of the game,” Berti said.

Registration for the spring basketball league opens Friday, Nov. 1, and the deadline to sign up is Jan. 7, 2020. Player evaluations and draft will be held on Jan. 14, 15 and 16. Preregistration and payment is required. Limited spots are available.

“This year’s season runs until April 15. Each player must be a member of the facility, which is included in the participation fee. All players will receive a trophy, plaque or award for their participation at the end of the play-off season,” Berti said.

The cost to participate is $40 per player, which includes a game T-shirt. Payment must be made by check or money order and payable to SYAL. A $10 individual facility membership is also required for this program. To get a registration form online, please visit www.leeparks.org/veteranspark.

SYAL is now looking for volunteer coaches. Those interested in coaching or mentoring children, can contact Tim Berti at 239-369-1521 or email tberti@leegov.com.

“Anyone who likes working with kids and has some experience is encouraged to apply. They will need to go through an orientation process to learn the rules of the game. Then be cleared downtown with the county and undergo a criminal background screening,” Berti said. “We also need volunteers to help assist the teams, run score boards and operate the clock.”

According to Berti, there will be four teams in each division, each one will have a coach and an assistant coach.

For more information about Lee County Parks & Recreation locations, amenities and other special events, visit www.leeparks.org, call 239-533-7275, email: leeparks@leegov.com or visit leeparksandrecreation on Instagram.