Young basketball players who dream to one day be in the NBA will have a shot to up their game. The Junior NBA program will offer a new league for kids and this year Oklahoma will play host. Solid Rock Basketball in Edmond is among only 10 gyms across the country select to host the league. Every weekend, the gym is packed with young players hitting the hardwood.
“The NBA is a kid's dream at this point,” said Ashton Young, coach for OKC Elite.
Coaches like Young show these kids the skills needed to get there.
“They absorb it, it's just like a sponge, they absorb it all and they implement it in their everyday game,” he said.
Now, the gym will up its game to host a Junior NBA 3v3 League, a first for Oklahoma.
“Three on three is a great game,” said Craig Wiginton, owner of Solid Rock Basketball. “It's a great way to help kids learn the game because they can learn in a format where it's not as congested you don't have five players, you've got three on three players.”
The program is open to any team that signs up. The teams will play twice on Sunday for 10 straight weeks.
“Having teams be able to drive in on Sunday and play and be a part of it and it not just be particular to Oklahoma City was a real important part for us too,” he said.
Being sponsored by the NBA, the Thunder is expected to support the league, but the details of the franchise’s involvement are still being worked out.
“They're dreaming to be a NBA star so what perfect format than to set them up with the Junior NBA, set them up with trainers and get them to know the real skills of basketball the way they see it on television,” said Young.
Winners of the league will go on to compete on the national stage in Atlanta.
“We're excited to be a part of that, to have a franchise that hopefully through the years it'll grow and be something really special,” Wiginton said.
The league begins on January 7 but registration is open now. Click here for more information about the league.