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Alley oop – love of basketball on the rebound

County Clippers in action at PECI. Phil Norton photo. www.countyphotographer.com

Everything related to basketball in Prince Edward County is now “slam dunked” into the informative, user-friendly website – www.countyclippers.ca
The mission of the Prince Edward County Minor Basketball League to develop, encourage and promote the game of basketball.  The league has more than 80 players from Grades 2 – 8 playing in the inaugural season at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute.
“The site is designed to keep people informed on everything basketball in Prince Edward County including the County Clippers, The PECI Panthers Basketball program and Panther Hoops,” says Rob Garden, PECMB President. ”
“Over the past five years, I have seen basketball grow from a sport that people viewed as an alternative to hockey, to something that is very complimentary and main stream,” he said. “Through the Panther Hoops program and the support of our local public schools, kids are being exposed to the sport at a young age and falling in love with it.  A direct result of this increased participation, is the strength of both the boys and girls basketball programs at PECI.  Our junior boys (Grade 9 and 10) are defending Bay of Quinte champions, while both of our girls teams finished in the top three teams in the Bay of Quinte league this season, with our senior girls capturing a silver medal at AAA COSSA.”

County Clippers have more than 80 players on various teams from Grade 2-8. Phil Norton photo. www.countyphotographer.com

Basketball, he says, rivals soccer as a very accessible sport, requiring only a pair of shoes, ball, and a hoop.  The costs are low, and basketball can be played 12 months of the year, both indoors and out.
“It’s a sport that builds self confidence, friendships, and it is a great workout.  I have had a lot of hockey parents comment on the tremendous boost in physical fitness after their kids play a season of basketball.”
Garden coached the U19 Junior Girls OBA Belleville Spirits team for the past two years, and said he was amazed at the number of County kids who played in Belleville.
“The County Clippers was born to provide county youth an opportunity to play in their own back yard.  The league was modelled after the success of the minor soccer association, and also the Panther Hoops spring basketball league.  The goal was to make it as affordable as possible, and through generous sponsorship from Beatty Seeds, ESSROC, Picton Rec, County Parks and Culture, Canadian Tire, and Longreach Towels the registration fee was only $50 for 12 weeks.
“My goal is to continue to grow the sport at a grassroots level.  Our public school teams will benefit and become more competitive.  Our high school teams will benefit and continue their winning ways.  Kids will stay active and get a chance to enjoy a tremendous sport.  It’s a win – win situation.”
The County Clippers is an organization facilitated by volunteers and if anyone would like to get involved, they should contact Rob Garden at rgarden@hpedsb.on.ca

See a slideshow of County Clippers action, by Phil Norton, at http://www.philnorton.net/countyclippers2010 There is an email link on the site for photo orders.


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