The South Boston Community Development Foundation has sponsored an under 12 co-ed basketball league at the Tynan Community Center gymnasium. The main purpose of an introductory program such as this one is to give inexperienced youngsters a basic understanding and feel for the game. Learning the fundamentals of hoop should be an enjoyable experience. It will be a time of discovery, learning, hard work and hopefully, fun. Fun, as in “fundamentals” as they are introduced to the basics of basketball. Players need to be taught to win with grace and lose with dignity, worrying less about the final score while thinking more about how the game is supposed to be played.
Players will only improve if they are told what they are doing wrong, how to avoid the same mistakes in the future, what’s expected of them, and what behavior, on and off the bench, is unacceptable. They should work hard on defense, and if necessary, rest on the offensive end. Players need to keep quiet on the court, concentrate on the game and not complain about the officiating. Players must play, coaches will coach, and officials will referee the game.
Here are some fundamentals they will be taught:
• The three-second rule violation is at the offensive end. Players must not stay in the “paint” longer than three seconds or the team loses possession of the ball, called a turnover. Players must move quickly in and out of the paint while on offense, and have “both feet” entirely out of the paint when posting up.
• How they should line up during free throw attempts.
They must not enter the court during a substitution until they are “beckoned’ onto the court by the referee.
• What is and what is not a foul.
The meaning of the intentional foul rule. This is important because players can sustain serious injuries when they are pushed from behind or hit hard while driving to the hoop. Additionally, hard fouls are in fact unsportsmanlike and won’t be tolerated.
• What traveling and carrying (palming the ball) violations mean. Not explaining these violations won’t help players understand what they’re doing wrong.
• The reason why “trash-talking” amongst players is strictly forbidden. They will learn that it takes away from the true spirit of the game, and that such unsportsmanlike conduct is unacceptable.
By the foundation’s generosity, local youngsters are enjoying an organized spring hoop league on Friday afternoons. Games are at 3:45 and 4:30 p.m. The league is still open to male or female players under 12. The league is free. Stop by the Tynan gym for additional information.