Archive for Thursday, March 3, 2005

Weekend warriors

March 3, 2005

Each Saturday during the winter, the Lansing Activity Center is bursting with the activity of players participating in the Lansing youth basketball leagues.

The leagues have 267 players, ranging from first-graders through sixth-graders, participating on 29 teams. Play goes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Rules adopted by Lansing Parks and Recreation, which sponsors the leagues, are designed to help younger players properly develop skills. First- and second-graders shoot at a seven-foot basket, third- and fourth-graders shoot at an eight-and-a-half-foot basket. Fifth- and sixth-graders play on regulation 10-foot goals.

"The most enjoyable part (of my job) is watching the first- and second-graders play," said Richard O'Donnell, league commissioner.

Sharks coach Mark Swope said the amount of improvement he has seen in his players is tremendous.

"They've had a huge growth spurt." Swope said. "This team now can play basketball and has some type of idea of what they are doing and why they are doing it."

The 10-week season ends Saturday.

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