Town Youth Basketball Program Hurting

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Budget constraints at the Town of Payson Parks and Recreation Department could be hurting the once-popular Fifth- and Sixth-Grade NBA Basketball Program.

At least that’s the opinion of town sports coordinator Joseph Harris who says not having the traditional brochure to distribute to the public appears to have slowed registration among aspiring players and their parents.

“Some might not be aware (of the program),” Harris says

With the sign-up deadline just over the horizon, Dec. 22, registration is lagging and Harris worries he won’t be able to field the four girls’ and six boys’ teams needed to make an ideal-sized league.

“That’s how many (teams) we had last year,” he said.

Harris’ best hope is that registration soon picks up and enough youths will be available for putting on a league beneficial to all.

Harris calls youth basketball, “the most fun sports leagues the town has to offer; it definitely has some of the coolest gear.”

He’s referring to the NBA-like team reversible jersey each of the players receives.

The registration fee is $25, which includes two months of play.

For parents who coach a team, the fee is waived.

Practices are held in the Julia Randall Elementary School gymnasium on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and games are played Saturdays in the Rim Country Middle School gym.

To register online, go to www.paysonparks.com or sign up at the P&R offices located at Green Valley Park.

Other Parks programs

Check out the parks department’s other upcoming programs at the Web site as well.

Registration for the 3rd-4th-Grade Youth Basketball League is from Jan. 4 through Feb. 4, with games starting Feb. 20 at the Rim Country Middle School Gym. The cost is $25 per child.

Youngsters will enjoy a season of basketball, and each child will take home a reversible jersey and a basketball.

Those who register after the deadline will be placed on teams only if space permits.

Registration for the Little Longhorns Wrestling program is from Jan. 11 through Feb. 11, with practice starting Feb. 23. The program is for grades 3 through 8 and is held in the Payson High School wrestling room. The fee is $25 per child.

Each participant will get a Little Longhorns Wrestling shirt, four weeks of wrestling practice and an end-of-season tournament in Wilson Dome. Each participant who registers can also volunteer at the Wrestling Dual State Championships in Payson on Feb. 19 and 20.

Youth Soccer League registration is Jan. 25 through March 8; the program starts the last week of March. It is for youngsters in pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade and will take place in Rumsey Park. The fee is $25 per child.

A soccer camp will be provided for coaches and players to kick off the season. Each child who registers will get an official soccer jersey. Divisions for play will be grades Pre K, K (ages 4-5), first and second, third and fourth, fifth and sixth, seventh and eighth, and ninth through 12th grades.

Registration for the Adult Basketball League is Jan. 5 through Feb. 1, with games beginning Feb. 15. This program is for those 18 and out of high school and older. The team fee is $300 and games will be in the old gym at Payson High School.

The winter league will have both recreational and competitive divisions, and if there is enough interest, an over-30 division. There needs to be at least four teams per division.

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