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xtra xtra!
Commonwealth Cooperative Bank
Posted July 7, 2005
The BNBL... It's Baaack...Again
By Kevin Devlin

      This youth basketball league began in Boston in the summer of 1969. Since the inception of this wonderful, summer, recreational outlet, thousands of inner-city athletes have had the opportunity to play basketball in their neighborhoods, and then compete in the citywide playoffs to decide which players were the best of the best on the blacktop.


      In Southie, BNBL games are played at the Tynan, the "Stretch" Walsh Community Center, at the Condon School Community Center, and at the basketball courts on West Third Street. Games are played on Monday through Thursday evenings during July and August.

     At the Tynan, Jerry O'Neil is in charge and does a great job. The 18 and under boys' teams play on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 5, 6, and 7 p.m., and the 15 and under boys squads play on Tuesday and Thursday evenings during the same time slots.

     The thirteen and under girls' and boys' teams play their games at the "Stretch" Walsh Community Center. The 13 and under boys' teams battle each other on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 p.m. The 13 and girls' squads play on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30 p.m. The site manager at this location is Mike Bain. Along with Mike, John Lydon and Rich Burton are always there to lend a helping hand.

     The 18 and under girls' teams play at the Tynan gym on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6, 7, and 8 p.m., and the 15 and under girls' squads play on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Kathy Davis is the site manager at this location and is ably assisted by big, bad, (but nice guy) Matt Burton

     There is also an added feature to the BNBL. For the second year, the BNBL is conducting peewee instructional leagues for girls and boys from the ages of eight through eleven. The Southie instructional league is being held at the West Third Street courts on Monday through Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. Pat Houlihan is the site coordinator introducing the hoop novices to the game of basketball. And he is being helped by his younger brother John.

     These young boys and girls seem to be enjoying their initial experience under Pat's tutelage. One night last week, Pat and John had them doing what they call suicide drills. From the endline, the player has to sprint to the free throw line (extended) and touch the ground, then run back to the endline, sprint to halfcourt, touch the ground and then run back to the endline. Then, the player sprints again three quarters of the court to the far three throw line (extended), touches the ground, and runs back three quarters to the same endline. And the final sprint is from endline to endline. After those drills on a hot summer night, the youngsters were ready to take a short break and cool down.

     The BNBL is a great opportunity for our inner city kids to play hoop and have some fun during the dog days of July and August.

     "It's just such a great outlet for the girls and boys in Southie," said Tynan Community School Recreation Program Director Kathy Davis. "It's the oldest league of its kind in the nation and the kids really look forward to playing each year. We have a lot of good kids, talented kids, and it translates into a lot of great games."

     So, take Kathy's word for it and don't miss out on the excitement.

     Stop by one of the sites and see some fast-paced hoop games.



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