We had a fantastic turnout at the recent player evaluations. We’re absolutely thrilled to see such a high level of interest in playing basketball and specifically playing as part of the Jr. Eagles / Bombers.
While it’s great to see such a large turnout, it’s also disheartening when we have to get selective with who gets to participate in the program. This is especially the case when dealing with such young athletes at the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade levels. As many of us have experienced first hand, so much can be learned from playing basketball, or any youth sport for that matter, and to restrict access to the opportunity provided with the Jr. Eagles / Bombers is something we struggle with.
Ideally we could accommodate everyone interested in playing. Unfortunately, with limited access to practice and training facilities, we’re forced to limit the number of players participating.
In looking at the bigger picture, almost every basketball player that plays the game is eventually told they didn’t make a team. Many of the top youth players won’t make a high school team. Only 3.3% of high school players will play in college and only 1.2% of college players will advance to the NBA.
That being said, we don’t expect our younger kids to have that kind of perspective at this stage in their life. So here’s the important message we believe should be conveyed to the kids. Just because you didn’t make a team doesn’t mean you have to stop playing basketball. If your child really enjoys basketball we strongly encourage they continue playing. Programs like Upward basketball or the YMCA are good platforms for youth players to continue exploring and learning the game.
Many great players have been told they didn’t make a particular team to only get more determined and motivated to improve. We are happy to point interested players in the direction of some great area skills trainers who can help them take their game to the next level.
Beyond developing youth athletes and young people, one of the purposes of the Bombers and Jr. Eagles program is to cultivate lifelong fans of the game. Youth that learn the game of basketball in the right environment and develop a passion for the game are likely to someday introduce the game to their children. In the interim, they will hopefully be the students in the stands cheering on their classmates. Just because you don’t make a team doesn’t mean you have to stop loving the game of basketball.
The reality of the situation is this – making a high school, or even feeder team is tough. Players advancing to play high school sports have somewhere along the line made a sincere commitment towards mastering the skills of the game. These are the kids who spend a lot of their free time playing basketball (or other sports) in the driveway, playground or gym. They attend summer camps during the off season to get exposed to different levels of competition and practice techniques. Many have embraced the importance of practicing alone, drilling a particular move time after time so they can eventually incorporate the new skill in an upcoming game. They watch high school, college and professional games, either in person or on television, and have started to become a student of the game. If you have a youngster who is demonstrating a liking to basketball but lacks the fundamental skills needed to play the game with some proficiency, it helps to explain what successful players have done in order to acquire and fine tune their skills. It will then be up to the player to decide if they want to make a similar level of commitment.
On behalf of everyone affiliated with the Jr. Eagles / Bombers Basketball program I thank all of the players who participated in our recent player evaluation. I sincerely wish we could accommodate every single one of them and hope to see those who aren’t receiving an invitation at this time at a future tryout. Keep playing basketball!