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End Of The Road Nears For Youth Basketball
Full Court
A number of third and fourth graders work out at the first day of the youth basketball clinic started at Riverbank High School last Saturday morning. They were being coached by members of the boys and girls teams on the first of six Saturdays of training and competition in the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium on the RHS campus. Ric McGinnis/The News

Riverbank basketball players, both young and old, boys and girls, have been hitting the hard wood at the high school on Saturday mornings, first learning necessary basketball skills from the high school players and coaches, and for the past several weeks, they have been playing games against each other, divided by age groups.

Admittedly, the whole game is done in 45 minutes, so the floor is clear for the next group to play.

They play on the cross courts used for PE classes, and, for the younger, smaller players, the backboards are lowered a bit so they can actually hit the basket.

By the end of the morning, they’re back up to regulation height for the fifth through eighth grade teams to compete.

After this coming Saturday’s action, Feb. 8, the young hoopsters will be calling it a season.

Fortunately, for those who will be moving right on to baseball or softball, Evaluation Day is also on Feb. 8, but won’t start until 11:45 a.m., with the youngest players going first. Luckily, their basketball games are the first of the morning, so it shouldn’t create much of a conflict, just a busy day for enthusiastic young athletes and their parents.

Baseball Rookies (7-8 year-olds) have evaluations at 11:45 a.m., and Draft Time is 1:30 p.m. Minors (9-10) are at 1:15 p.m. and 3 p.m. while Majors (11-12) are at 2:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

The Pony League times won’t be announced until after high school baseball begins.

Softball 8U Evaluation is at 2:45 p.m. with Draft at 3:15 p.m., 10U is at 1:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. and 12U is at 2:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.

Opening Day and Picture Day for both is set for March 14. Teams will be meeting at the Community Center to begin the parade to Castleberg Park, weather permitting. Last year, it got rained out.