While the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicker bockers are continuing to make news with changes in their personnel to improve themselves for next season, summer basketball is continuing to gain more and more popular in New York City with the various leagues in operation.
There’s no better place to catch some high school and under 14 brackets in action than on weekends in Tillery Park in downtown Brooklyn.
What started some ten years ago was exciting hoop sport all day long at Tillery Park on weekends. Now you are seeing them again dunking the basketball, making brilliant backcourt passes and playing strong defense including blocking those shots. These are the future players competing in leagues in downtown Brooklyn.
Organized leagues under proper directorship and coaching help develop the youngsters.
What was once Darryl Barlow’s league has certainly grown.
This league is in cooperation with Fun Sports Foundation, Tillery Park Foundation and Bridge Intelligences.
Fun Sports is a non-profit organization. Its committee organises many basketball programs around the City based out of Brooklyn. They have been doing programs, activities and leagues since 1999, This is the third year in cooperation with Darryl Barlow and Tillery Park. Boys 12 and under compete in one division and 14 and under are in another division. There are many middle school players and some high school freshmen competing in the leagues and some of them can certainly play and are already polished, but most aren’t.
Overall, 36 teams with 10 players on a squad compete in Tillery Park.
“This is a game time summer league, as it’s a collaboration between Fun Sports Tillery Park Foundation and Bridge Intelligence,” said league director Ricky Rivers. Competition began on July 13 and will end Saturday, Aug. 24 with championship games.
Rivers is ably assisted by Sheldon Goode and a staff of former players.
“I work under Rivers, helping out with the league,” said Goode. “I enjoy working with the youth, working hard and (dealing) with the stars of tomorrow. We try to get some of our alumni to give back to the program. This is probably the best basketball talent in the country right now….”
Teams from all over the area, including two from Pennsylvania, compete in this league. The circuit draws recruiters, coaches and representatives from the next level of competition.
One team from Pennsylvania seems to be very competitive, according to their coach. “They will try to get their five games in on one day. It’ll be tough.”
Teams in this league may compete in as many summer leagues that they wish as long as they make the schedule assigned to them.
Parents of the players as well as spectators are urged to come out and watch basketball at its best for youngsters in Brooklyn.