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Pasadena working toward solution that would keep junior basketball program on the court

Pasadena Place is shown in this file photo during its grand opening.
Pasadena Place is shown in this file photo during its grand opening. - Star file photo

More hands mean less work.

That’s the philosophy Wanda Wight is following as she tries to keep a developmental basketball program alive at Pasadena Place.

For the past two years, the Town of Pasadena operated the Steve Nash Basketball Program (now changed to Junior NBA Basketball Program) out of Pasadena Place.

The 16-week program, run by coach Don Keefe on Sundays, provided an environment where budding basketball players, male and female in the 5-12 age group, could participate in a program geared toward skill development.

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Keefe isn’t available to run the program this year because of other commitments, so a public meeting was held Sunday night to see if a replacement could be found for Keefe to ensure the program operates for a third year.

Only four people attended the meeting, but there were a number of people who have expressed an interest in helping out with the program who couldn’t make it to the meeting, so Wight was pleased with how things went.

The good news is the program will go ahead, although there will be some changes and it’s still up in the air as to whether there will be enough help to offer the program to the same three age groups — Grades K-2, 3-4 and 5-6 — as last year.

More than 100 boys and girls, eager hoopsters from Pasadena and surrounding areas, participated in the program over the past two years.

Wight confirmed the program is forging ahead with the program for players in the Grades 3-4 bracket after Mark Lamswood stepped forward at the meeting to assume the role of co-ordinator for that age group.

Wight, who is the director of recreation and community services with the Town of Pasadena, said people in attendance agreed it was probably a good idea to seek individual co-ordinators for each age group instead of depending on finding another gem like coach Keefe, who committed to sharing his knowledge with all three groups every Sunday for 16 straight weeks.

“We’re just hoping it’s going to be easier to attract somebody to come in and commit to an hour in one group and your five coaches versus the whole group,” Wight said. “What Don did last year was crazy. It was a big commitment.”

While the program is designed to be instructed over 16 weeks, Wight said this year the plan is to offer the same quality program for 12 weeks, with the idea of having the players on the court for six weeks before Christmas and six more after the holiday period.

She is hoping to speak with a number of volunteers about the possibility of them serving as co-ordinator for one of the two other age groups. Once co-ordinators are confirmed, she said, those two groups will hit the hardwood and she’s leaving it to the co-ordinator to find a time slot that works best for him and the group of players he would be responsible for instructing.

The program for players in Grades 3-4 will be held every Wednesday from 6-7 p.m. at Pasadena Place, and there are only 24 spots available.

Anybody interested in more information or interested in becoming a division co-ordinator can check out Pasadena Place NL on Facebook.

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