Upward Basketball begins third season in 2012

Imagine a kids’ basketball league where every child gets to play in every game, every child is welcomed regardless of his or her skill level, and every child learns not only great basketball skills but also important life values. That league will again be a reality at Church of the Saviour on Lee Road when a third season of Upward Basketball begins on Jan. 21.

Last year, more than 125 children participated in Upward Basketball at Church of the Saviour. Designed for boys and girls in kindergarten through sixth grade, Upward is the world’s largest Christian sports program for kids. It was created with a vision to provide the best sports experience possible for every child.

Upward is a unique league where players always have guaranteed play time. “Parents will watch their kids get exercise, have fun and make friends, and learn what’s great about basketball,” said Lauren Lanphear, the league’s director. The first games will be played on Jan. 21, and the season will conclude with an awards celebration on March 18.  

Skill assessments will take place on Dec. 5, 6, and 10 for the sole purpose of fairly balancing the teams. No previous basketball experience is required, and every child is welcome. Upward was designed to teach basketball skills and to bring out the winner in every child. “You will not find the win-at-all-costs mentality,” said Lanphear.

Upward Basketball utilizes a unique game format. Games consist of two 18-minute halves and an 8-minute half time. Possession alternates in jump ball situations. There are no timeouts, and ball possession changes at the end of each 6-minute segment to encourage end-of-period shots. Because of these unique rules, games are always finished within a set time period.   

The time commitment is two hours each week: one hour of practice on weekday evenings and one hour of play on Saturday morning or early afternoon.  

All of the Upward games will be played in the new multipurpose building at Church of the Saviour. Concessions and halftime entertainment are part of each game. 

Parents may register children online at upward@chsaviour.org or call 216 321-8880 (ext 257) for information or to request a brochure. Brochures are also available outside the Family Center at the Lee Road Library or at Church of the Saviour, 2537 Lee Road. Early registration, by Dec. 1, is $65; regular registration is $80; and late registration, after Dec. 10, is $90. Active-duty military families receive a discount.   

Rhonda Dorfman is an Upward Basketball volunteer.

Rhonda Dorfman

Rhonda Dorfman is an Upward Basketball volunteer.

Read More on Sports
Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 11:14 AM, 11.01.2011