Busy Week Leads to Practice Sessions, New Experiences; Volunteers Worth Weight in Gold

  The Northside Minor Basketball Association is not resting on the fact its numbers have reached a seven-year high for 2014-15.
 With the possibility of increasing its membership from the 120 range with the potential addition of two new teams, the NMBA has taken a moment to reflect on its growth, but also understands with increased numbers, comes increased challenges.
 'With growing expectations come growing demands and we are faced with challenges when it comes to securing gymnasium time and finding coaches to help run out programs,' said NMBA president Brad Janes. 'The goal of the NMBA is to create a place for children to play regardless of their experience or skill level. But you also have to be careful that the development component of what we're doing doesn't become secondary.'
 The philosophy of the NMBA is quite simple.
 Children K to 5 can start with the Steve Nash Youth Basketball program and progress to the under-12 mini level of play. From there it's on to under-14 bantam and into the high school level.
 That all means the Steve Nash program is number one.
 'We have to concentrate on children learning the fundamentals first and foremost and we cannot get away from that nor should we,' Janes said. 'Competition is what drives children and families, but if the child is prepared with catching, passing, proper footwork and many other finer points of the game, the transition to the next level is made that much easier.'
 This week is a big one for the NMBA.
 There is the possibility of adding second mini teams at the boys' and girls' levels.
 It would be almost a pilot project with the emphasis on practicing and developing over games.
 'We have several folks interested in coaching and based on feedback, we have family interest for children.' said Janes. 'We need to look hard at this and find that comfort level where children aren't going to be thrown into games with officials and scoreclocks without developing first.'
 A perfect example of development was the recent Basketball New Brunswick junior (under-14) Elite Development Camp Competition Day in Fredericton.
 Score wasn't kept, just 20 minute games.
 Complaints from parents were minimal because a champion wasn't crowned and scores weren't kept.
 'It was just good competition, almost outdoor court style of play and there were an awful lot of smiles,' Janes said. 'One of our coaches once said all you need is a court, a hoop and a ball. It's tough to argue with that.'

Please view this link for a schedule and calendar of events for all NMBA team practices, locations and times and Steve Nash practices, times and locations.