Youth basketball academy up and running for third season

The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s basketball team is again involved in the operation of the Kelly Olynyk Basketball Academy.

KOBA is entering its third season in Kamloops.

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“It’s a youth basketball program,” said WolfPack head coach Scott Clark.

“Youth basketball programs have existed before. There was a Steve Nash league in town, but it ceased operation.

“We approached Kelly [Olynyk] about using his name and receiving some sponsorship to provide opportunities for kids kindergarten through to Grade 7.

“They are being introduced to the game of basketball, receive some coaching on the fundamentals of the game, have some success and get some game play each week. This is to augment what they might be doing in their elementary schools.”

Clark said he would like to see the program grow.

“We have had some successful years, but the more kids out the better.

“We want them to fall in love with the game of basketball.

“Hopefully, they will develop a passion for the game which will continue as they grow up.”

The program this year will be run by WolfPack assistant coach Brynden Swint, along with some of the TRU players.

There will be sessions at the TRU Gym and the Tournament Capital Centre beginning Oct. 20 and Oct. 21.

There will be six sessions before Christmas and six after the holidays beginning Jan. 12.

Both groups will wind up in mid February.

Kindergarten to Grade 3 students will operate out of the TRU Gym on Sundays.

They have only a one-hour session starting at 9 a.m. Grades 4 through 7 athletes will have their sessions on the north court of the Tournament Capital Centre from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays.

Cost is $150, Clark said.

Youngsters receive a basketball to keep, along with a jersey and admission to all TRU basketball games.

“There is a great value for the athletes and the parents,” Clark said.

To register, email Clark at sclark@tru.ca or visit the WolfPack office at the Tournament Capital Centre.

© 2018 Kamloops This Week

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