Sheri Samson
YCAC coaches Shawn Isom and Raymond Morgan work with a young basketball player in preparation for the upcoming season.

As the YCAC building sustained damage from the recent earthquake activity, the kids that would normally use that facility for their basketball practices and games had to be re-routed to varying locations to accomplish this year’s opening basketball season through the county park and recreation system.

Melissa Isom, local team director, was scrambling to facilitate the kids into different places rather than shutting it down this year. With help from the school district, the junior high school gym, the Hawthorne Elementary Gym and the Boys & Girls Club paved the way for a practice schedule as 110 kids participate in practices, learning the sport and rotating into games soon.

“Being out of the YCAC building was a big problem at first, but we raced around for alternate ideas so it still happened this year. I miss the old building, but it’s no longer safe to use, so I had to take to Facebook and started texting people to get the word out that we were making some changes in the scheduled practices and the places,” Melissa Isom explained.

Shawn Isom and Raymond Morgan worked on the court teaching elementary aged children a one-on-one steal method for retrieving the basketball, as a line of kids patiently learned by watching. Other kids were practicing passing the ball to each other, attempting some fancier footwork in the process.

LaShay Stevens shared her outlook on the basketball program as being fun with her friends. “I learn stuff that I’m gonna use later in high school. These practices make me ready for when I will play at the high school level in a few years.”

Melissa Isom explained the 16 team rotation allowed everyone the chance to play each other while averaging a two game week for each child to participate in.

“Although practices this year had to be scheduled around the buildings being available, the families have responded so well in working with it – even when we practice until 8:30 at night.”

Brianna Stiles, an elementary aged student was practicing her quick bounces stating she learned a lot about the game by watching the other kids play.