Brake, a budding basketball player who just finished Grade 6 at J.J. Curling in Corner Brook, is looking forward to participating in the new Humber Valley Basketball Club during the summer break.
The new league, with Sarah Purchase handling the female division and Peter Rose providing the direction on the male side, will run two nights per week over six weeks.
The new program will cater to male and female players in Grades 6-9 and is open to players from all over western Newfoundland.
Purchase coached the Grade 5/6 female basketball team at Sacred Heart and Grade 7 female team at Corner Brook Intermediate this year.
Purchase wanted her players to keep engaged in the sport over the summer holidays so they would be fresh when they return in the fall, so she discussed the possibility of a summer league with some of the other coaches in the area, including Jonathan Snow, who is one of the big supporters of the initiative.
She got a positive response, so she proceeded to get players on the court over the summer. She believes every player who puts in extra time will eventually see a difference in their play, so she hopes to see a lot of young players get involved.
“When you play games you learn a lot. You can always go to camps to learn skills and stuff like that, but when you’re playing games all the time you learn the smarts of basketball in game-like situations, which is very important,” Purchase said.
Brake helped the J.J. Curling Cougars win two gold medals this year, taking top spot in both the West Coast Provincial Grade 6 Boys Basketball Championship and the annual RNCA/St. Gerard’s Grade 6 Basketball Tournament.
Extra time over the summer months is something Brake feels will be in his best interest if he wants to improve his skillset, so he’s committed to spending six weeks focused on the game he loves to play.
“It’s awesome because I get extra practice and I can get ready for next year on the higher nets, because it used to be nine-feet nets, but now I’m going to 10-foot and bigger balls, too,” he said.
“It’s my No. 1 sport for sure. I just love doing it,” he added.
On the female side, Corner Brook’s Laura Taylor, heading to Grade 8 in the fall, loves a variety of sports because she likes the bonding that comes with team sports and she’s always eager to entertain a chance to play more games and meet more people.
Taylor is heading to a big tournament in Montreal at the end of June and then it’s usually a case of waiting patiently for school to start in the fall before she can get back in the gym.
Summer heat or not, she’s happy to see basketball offered over the summer and plans to make the most of it.
“I hope to get stronger for next year, so I have to keep practising,” she said.
Anybody interested in participating in the program or requires additional information can contact coach Purchase at 660-4910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.