Archive for Thursday, August 13, 2009

MAYB spreads basketball options for youths

August 13, 2009

MAYB stands for Mid America Youth Basketball. You may have seen these letters on T-shirts, signs, etc and wondered what they meant. The main office is in Newton, and MAYB started in 1993 with one summer tournament with 69 teams. It has grown to 170 summer tournaments involving 3,700 teams from 27 states and two foreign countries. A winter season was added in 2000-01, and in 2004 they added a spring schedule to accommodate the increased demand.

Participating teams are set up by the players’ previous school year, not by their age. This allows many school teams to compete in their school’s offseason. MAYB offers divisions in the summer for fourth-12th grade boys and girls teams. In the winter it offers divisions for third-eighth grade boys and girls, and a high school division for a winter finale tournament. MAYB's main goal is practice and participation.

MAYB tournaments are fundraising opportunities for each of the individual communities involved. All of the events are locally hosted and sponsored and all proceeds stay in the community.

We had a chance to witness this in Wichita last week from Thursday to Saturday, when we went out to watch our just out of eighth-grade grandson and his team. They were one of 65 teams from 11 states, and our team name was Leavenworth County. Our players were from different schools in Leavenworth County and they had either played on the same team or against each other on an opposing team. The teams played in 24 different school gymnasiums. Our boys did quite well, winning four out of five in pool play, and the sixth game was a loss to a team from Texas that had won the national championship three times in their grade levels. Most of their players were 6 feet tall and two were at least 6’6, and they really knew how to play.

You can understand that every hotel and motel for miles around was jam packed with basketball players. It was tough getting in the food line for breakfast. We have never seen such big eighth-graders before and I think we are becoming a land of giants…It was fun.

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