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Youth Basketball League players register Saturday

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Tillsonburg Youth Basketball registration will be held this Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Tillsonburg Community Centre from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If that doesn't work for young basketball players – available to boys and girls in Grades 1-6 – then registration can be completed online through Basketball Tillsonburg's website, www.basketballtillsonburg.com. Basketball Tillsonburg oversees the league.

For more information, email basketballtillsonburg@gmail.com or call Lance MacKenzie at 226-378-0345 or Jesse Goossens at 519-688-9991, who will be leading instructions on the court each week with Dan Dube, a local elementary school teacher and coach. Mike Bossy provides administration assistance.

This year's Youth Basketball league will run 10 weeks, Sunday afternoons from Oct. 19 to Dec. 21.

"This year we're going to do it a little different," said MacKenzie. "Last year we did six Sundays before Christmas and six Sundays after Christmas. This year we're going to do 10 Sundays from just after Thanksgiving to December 21st – we'll get it done before Christmas.

"Last year, we felt like the kids were starting over after a two-three week break for Christmas. It felt like it was counter-productive. So we decided it would be more beneficial for their development to go 10 weeks straight through. This way everybody stays fresh and there's a little bit more continuity."

Sunday sessions, divided into age groups, will be between 12-4 p.m., same as last year. They had 60 kids signed up last year after the league had been dormant for 3-4 years, and MacKenzie hopes to see an increase this year.

"We're already a third of that before Saturday's registration. We're hoping for a good turnout this weekend."

The 10-week program also aligns with OBA's (Basketball Ontario) mega hoops program, which provides basketballs and jerseys.

"Last year we split them up and came up with our own stuff to do at each station. I used my basketball memory, and it was fine, I think everybody had fun last year. But at the same time, it wasn't as organized as I would like. Moving forward, we can get a manual from OBA with a step-by-step procedure. It makes it easier to plan for the adults, and makes it more effective for the kids."

They had about 15 coaches assisting with the program last year, and MacKenzie said they will be looking for volunteers again once numbers are established for the 2014 season.

Last year's sessions, divided into two age groups, had the players developing their skills for about 45-50 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes of informal scrimmaging.

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