Athletes will soon again take to the basketball courts in Penticton, and Summerland, but this year things will look a little different.
Now that the B.C. sports sector has moved into Phase 3 of its return to sport plan, Lake City Basketball has reopened registration for youth leagues in the fall.
Lake City Basketball announced the launch date Monday, Aug. 31, adding that they have also teamed up with Unisus School to bring basketball to youth in Summerland.
Youth leagues will begin Sept. 21; a long-awaited delay from when their spring youth leagues and club teams were cancelled in March due to COVID-19.
In their announcement Monday the club detailed their planned safety precautions which will go along with their reopening.
“We’ll have to follow a number of safety protocols. We will be limiting cohorts to a total of 50 players and coaches, groups will enter and exit through different doors of the facility, and hands and equipment will be sanitized before and after sessions. Referees are limited to one cohort as well, and, unfortunately, we won’t be able to have parents watch games,” said Lake City Basketball director, Chris Terris.
The basketball club will offer gender-specific development leagues for players in Grades 3 to 8, and for the first time, G-Leagues for secondary school players.
“Kids, and probably their parents, are eager to get back to playing organized sports. Most of the sections were more than half full within 24 hours of registration opening, and we’re as excited as the kids to get back in the gym,” said Lake City youth development coordinator Spencer McKay.
Mckay will be taking the lead in Summerland’s new Unisus Basketball Academy (UBA), which will will offer scholar-athletes three two-hour training sessions per week.
The former Canadian national team athlete and long-time professional player said he looks forward to preparing athletes for long term success.
“We are here to ensure that our academy players are high skill, high character athletes who will be uniquely prepared for success at the post-secondary level both on and off the court,” McKay said.
“What excites me about the UBA is that the administration at Unisus is clearly dedicated to giving their student-athletes the best chance to succeed, both athletically and academically. Having coached at UBC, I understand very clearly the value of an IB education, and also, the quality of coaching a young athlete receives in their adolescent years.”
The former UBC coach said that when recruiting high school players, his first questions were: what are your grades like, and who coached you.
“The creation of the Unisus Basketball Academy gives students the best of both worlds; a world class education combined with world class basketball instruction,” he said.
For more information on Lake City fall programs, visit Lakecitybasketball.weebly.com.