Great opportunities will soon exist for aspiring young basketball players to learn the sport the correct way and in a non-threatening manner.
The chances exist in three Town Parks and Recreation-sponsored hoop programs — Start Smart Basketball for children 3 years to kindergarten, Start Smart for first- and second-graders and Junior NBA for seventh- and eighth-graders.
Start Smart is an 11-year-old organization that hosts leagues and summer camps around the country emphasizing fundamentals, skill development, team cohesion and healthy competitive spirits.
Jr. NBA organizers say their goals are to develop a life-long passion for the game by providing a support structure, instructional materials and programs that encourage participation and make the game fun and rewarding for all participants.
The program, in its fifth year, claims to include more than two million players, parents, coaches and teams.
Registration for the two Start Smart programs end Oct. 22 and play begins Nov. 7 at Julia Randall Elementary School.
Registration for Jr. NBA play ends Oct. 15 and play begins Oct. 31 in the Rim Country Middle School gymnasium.
Fees for all three programs is $25 per child.
Start Smart is held each Saturday for a month.
Participants in both receive souvenir basketball jerseys.
Players who register after the deadlines will be placed on teams only if space permits.
Call Joe Harris at (928) 474-5242.
PCS benefit trout tournament
There’s plenty of high country angling fun just over the horizon.
It all occurs at the 10th annual Payson Christian School Trout Tournament to be held from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17 at Willow Springs Lake, located 32 miles east of Payson and north of Highway 260.
The entry fee is $30 per person. The fee for children under 13 is $20. Fees include a tournament T-shirt.
Tournament day registration at the lake dock opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 7 a.m. Those who preregister must also check in before beginning to fish.
A one-hour weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. at the dock, which allows participants to catch-and-release if they wish to do so.
Awards and prizes will be given out at a ceremony beginning at 4 p.m. in the lake parking lot.
To find the site, anglers should look for a motor home with the sign “Payson Community Christian School.”
For the tournament, all entrants must be in possession of an Arizona fishing license and a trout stamp. Arizona Game and Fish laws limit an angler to six trout per day.
The minimum size trout that can be kept is 8 inches. The benefit will take place regardless of weather conditions.
Registration forms are available at paysoncommuitychristianschool.org.
As in past years, students at Payson Community Christian School will reap the benefits of the tournament.
Calling all DS riders
It’s not too late for Dual Sport riders to register for the Mogollon Rendezvous to be held Oct. 24-25 on the Rim Country mountain roads, trails and backcountry.
Organizers are limiting the field to 200 participants.
Dan Basinski, one of the locals who has entered the Rendezvous, is helping plan the on- and off-road event.
He says the two-day rides will feature routes suited for all levels of riders on twisty paved highways and challenging off-road sections.
The routes will include A (expert), B (intermediate) and C (novice) courses.
This year, the rally will be headquartered at the Payson Elks Lodge.
Each ride begins at the lodge with a breakfast buffet before riders descend either to rugged high desert riding or climb to elevations that reach 7,500 feet atop the Mogollon Rim.
On Saturday evening at the lodge there will be a buffet for all riders with raffles and more.
The event is sponsored by Arizona Trail Riders and is a stop on the American Motorcycle Association Dual Sport series sponsored by KTM and BMW.
ATR is a nonprofit group that has about 150-plus members of all riding abilities. While its main focus is trail riding, ATR also promotes desert racing and dual sports events.
For more information about ATR, visit: www.arizonatrailriders.org.