|It’s a 3-Pointer!|
Julia Mendoza is proud of the accomplishments of her 13-year-old son, Justin. “I believe my son has regained confidence, strength and most of all courage to play and give it his best. His coach, I believe, saw the potential in him and let him play.”
Justin is one of over 5,400 young people who are engaged in the Tampa YMCA’s year round basketball leagues and programs
Under the direction of former NBA star Gary Brokaw, boys and girls ages 3 to 14 can now participate in developmental and competitive basketball programs held at nine YMCA branches throughout Hillsborough and east Pasco County.
With initial funding made possible by the Triad Foundation, the program has grown tremendously over the past year with over 558 teams of players developing skills, learning teamwork, and building character through the game of basketball.
This year a new partnership was formed with the Positive Coaching Alliance. Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) is a national non-profit with the mission to provide all youth and high school athletes a positive, character-building youth sports experience. Since its 1998 launch at Stanford University by Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jim Thompson, PCA has impacted more than 4 million youth athletes.
Parents and families are taking note. According to volunteer coach Robert Chandler, the principles in practice through the Y’s PCA partnership are really making a difference. Robert is particularly appreciative of Tony Brewington, the New Tampa Y’s new Sports Director.
According to Chandler, this year was the first season playing basketball for his sons, Peter and Zack. He explains, “Having coached youth baseball for 15 years, I can assure you that the manor in which any youth sports league is directed does has an impact on a child's first impression of a sport. You have created a warm environment where kids can feel free to have fun and learn and parents can approach coaches and administration with questions and concerns. They both are in love with the game!”