Many youth basketball players across the country dream of crossing over an opponent like LeBron James, or sinking a jump shot like Steph Curry. Well this January, a number of local athletes will have an opportunity to put their skills on display at SPARD's Junior NBA Skills Challenge in Stephenville.
The Stephenville Parks and Recreation Department will host the event and are giving local youth an opportunity to showcase their basketball abilities in a competition featuring rebounding, shooting and dribbling skills.
"I used to do this before I came to Stephenville in Brownsville. It’s a cool competition, especially when you can send three boys and three girls and represent the city in the competition in Dallas," said SPARD Director Hawk Scott. "The qualifiers here not only will have a chance to compete in the regional competition, but will have a chance to advance to the finals in New York City."
Those electing to compete will do so in two divisions.
The first is boys and girls ages 13 and 14-years-old. To qualify, participants must have been born between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2004.
The other age group includes boys and girls ages 12 and under. Participants must have been born on or after July 1, 2004.
Of those participants, first, second and third place award winners in each age and gender group will advance to the regional competition in Texas with a chance to advance to the finals which are held in New York City.
"Events like this are important because all of the kids, they know each other and get to have fun and practice basketball," Scott said. "It’s a friendly competition and you have the opportunity to see people from all over the state and country. It’s almost like the Olympics. Instead of representing the United States, these kids are representing their city against people from other cities. Things like this bring the community together and encourage active youth."
The Junior NBA Skills Challenge is slated to take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, January 21 inside the Stephenville Recreation Hall.
The event is free and no purchase is necessary to take part.
For more information or to sign up, SPARD urges parents to visit jr.nba.com/skillschallenge/, stop by the Recreation Hall located at 378 W. Long Street, or give them a call at 254-918-1295.