Some people will get up at the crack of dawn. Others will get up much earlier than that. Still others may not get to bed at all, opting instead to head over to Hammarskjold in order to be the first in line.
And what exactly is it that these parents are waiting for? A chance for their children to play basketball.
“A few years ago someone actually showed up at 10 the night before,” said Stacie Grant, a member of the league. “People do show up at odd times. Someone showed up at 2 in the morning and she wasn’t the first, all because people feel like they’re not going to get shut out of the program. The easiest way to not get shut out of the program is to volunteer.”
Registration for Fast Break Basketball and its travel program will run from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the Hammarskjold School Cafeteria. The cost is $110 for second through fourth grade, and $120 for fifth through 12th, and because of limited gym space and coaches, sometimes players must be turned away, hence the early turn out. But, as Grant said, becoming involved in the league as a coach or in another capacity can guarantee your child a slot on a team.
“The amount of teams we have for each division is contingent upon how much court space we get from schools and how many volunteers we get,” she said. “Last year we only had a handful of people on the wait list.”
Coaches, division coordinators, game coordinators and division directors are some of the slots the league needs volunteers for.
“As people age out of the program there’s no need to stick around, so we’re looking for younger aged children parents so they can grow with the league,” said Grant.
So what can kids expect to get after their parents braved the early morning hours of a weekend to make sure they get a chance to play?
Grant said that second and third grade players typically practice for an hour and a half a week, which includes a 45 minute practice and a 45 minute scrimmage, with instruction being the name of the game.
Fourth-graders have one practice and a game per week with a referee. At this level, the players begin learning more about personal fouls, team fouls and other more subtle rules of the game. From fifth-grade on up teams usually have one practice a week and one game a week. There are usually between 4 and six teams per grade, 12 game seasons (beginning in mid-October) and, of course, official Fast Break basketball T-shirts for players.
To register, Grant suggests parents fill out registration forms before hand, which can be found here.