New High Altitude basketball program offers elementary school players a chance to get back on the court | SteamboatToday.com

New High Altitude basketball program offers elementary school players a chance to get back on the court

The High Altitude Basketball program's website.

— A new fall basketball program offered by High Altitude Basketball will offer young players a chance to get on the court this fall.

"The main objective is just to get the kids court time," said Michael Vandahl, director of basketball for High Altitude Basketball. "I've been thinking about this the past couple of years, but it's really cool to see it become a reality."

Vandahl said parents of the players in High Altitude Basketball's summer programs often ask him if there is more court time available to the young players. In response to those questions, the organization created a Fall Madness youth basketball program to keep children more connected to the game.

The program will run from Nov. 2 to Dec. 7 and is open to boys and girls in fifth and sixth grades. The idea is to offer programs to children who are not taking part in the middle school and high school programs.

The Fall Madness program offers 10 open gyms from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays at the Steamboat Springs Middle School and from 4 to 6 p.m. Sundays at the Steamboat Springs High School.

Vandahl, who is also the head boys basketball coach at Steamboat Springs High School, said there will be some coaching supervision and a little bit of skill work at most of the sessions, but the main goal of the program is to get young players on the courts and having fun.

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The exact structure of the sessions will be determined once the final numbers of participants is determined. Vandahl said players may compete in three-on-three games, one-on-one games or skill challenge games designed to promote basic skills at different sessions.

Vandahl is hoping to recruit high school players from both the boys and girls programs to help coach the young players each week.

"This is a chance for these young players to get to know the players on the high school teams," Vandahl said.

The deadline to register for the programs is Tuesday, Nov. 1 and the cost is $65 a player. Players can register at highaltitudebasketball.org and anyone wanting more information can contact the organization at 970-875-6775.

With high school and middle school programs set to start in the next few weeks, Vandahl said the timing of this program is perfect. The camp will come to a close just before the start of the Steamboat Shootout high school basketball tournament.

Vandahl said one of the highlights of the Fall Madness program is that the young players will have a chance to play at halftime between the high school games that weekend.

"It will be great because the players can show everybody how much better they have gotten in front of the home crowd," Vandahl said.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966