Hoopsters improve in traveling league

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A group of sixth-grade girls have gotten a head start on their basketball skills in a traveling basketball league.

Parent and coach Bob Young recruited eight girls to play on the team, which has faced teams from Colorado and Wyoming in three regional tournaments. Their final tournament will be in Craig this weekend.

Young, who moved to Hayden about a year ago from Gillette, Wyo., wanted his twin daughters, Taylor and Kate, to continue building on the skills they learned in a traveling basketball league in Wyoming.

"It was a good experience for them," he said. "We wanted to try and see if we could get some interest in doing the same for Hayden."

Young didn't have trouble gathering interest from students and parents, who have footed costs for shiny orange uniforms, travel and tournament fees.

Young also has built a team of fifth-grade girls, who will compete for the first time this weekend in Craig.

"They are ready to learn," Young said. "They are old enough they pick up and improve their skills quickly."

The sixth-grade team placed either third or fourth out of five to eight teams in tournaments in Rifle, Rock Springs, Wyo., and Lander, Wyo. The team has been practicing at least twice a week since January.

The students are at an ideal age to learn the skills and rules of basketball, because they "soak up anything you try and teach them," Young said.

The traveling league also is a good preparation for team basketball in school, which starts in seventh grade.

"They're getting experience working on a team, that's the big thing I try to instill in them -- to put together a team they can be proud of," he said.

If interest continues, Hayden's traveling league could be expanded to include summer activities and fund-raising events, Young said.

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