[One of 50 articles written and published for Demand Media in 2013]
Basketball has been an American sport for more than a century and has grown to become a global phenomenon. Although simple in concept, mastering the necessary skills, speed and coordinated teamwork required to win consistently demands regular practice and dedication. In an age of video games, it still lures teens out of the house and onto the court.
Most basketball programs for DC-area teens operate during the summer, with some offered in fall and winter. Fees vary widely, so it pays to shop around. You’ll find boys’, girls’ and coed programs throughout the DC metro area, with many leagues playing in local schools and gyms. Chances are good you’ll be using familiar facilities close to your home.
The nonprofit Metropolitan Basketball League, more popularly known as Metroball, serves more than 500 players each year. The highlight is Metroball’s signature summer event, the two-month New York Avenue Summer Streetball Tournament. There’s also a year-round schedule of after-school programs and Amateur Athletic Union teams.
The Georgetown University Men’s Basketball Camp hosts annual four-day summer sessions for boys 8-18. These include a Day Camp session, a residential Overnight Camp with all meals provided, and a Commuter Camp scheduled to make it easier for working parents. Games are held in two air-conditioned gyms and the focus is on defensive and offensive fundamentals.
Outdoor fall ball is available for 13-year-old boys and girls at the Kendall Elementary School on the campus of Gallaudet University in Northeast DC. This program includes practices, team play and an end-of-season league tournament.
In partnership with the NBA Wizards and WNBA Mystics, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation operates a youth basketball program for ages 13 to 18 each winter. The emphasis is on building speed, coordination and strength, while developing bonds with teammates.
Instructors offer One on One summer basketball clinics weekly, each running for four days and highlighting a skill or fundamental technique. Kids are treated to ongoing development of existing skills with instruction and fun drills.
The Washington Mystics team provides three four-day basketball summer camps for players 8 to 17. The focus of these sessions includes ball handling, passing,
shooting, rebounding and defense.
The four-day Maryland Sports Summer Basketball Clinic for ages 6 to 17 features both skills and strategic training — shooting, ball handling, one on one moves, post moves, using and setting screens plus pick and roll play.
Prince Georges County
PG County offers a month of one-hour basketball classes and three 90-minute clinics during the summer for teens 13 to 17 years old. These programs teach shooting techniques by developing accuracy, consistency and repeatability while shooting with correct form.
There’s also a summer skills clinic for 12- to 15-year-olds that focuses on the fundamentals of basketball — ball handling, defense, rebounding, shooting and warming up properly.
The Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation offers the Just Hoops Saturday summer program for teen boys. In winter, House League play begins for the 7th to 8th Grade League. The 9th to 12th Grade League starts after New Year’s. From spring to mid-summer, the Late Night Basketball League holds evening coed games for grades 9 to 12. All Arlington programs offer discounts for qualified applicants.
Fairfax County Youth Basketball is a large league, with 26 registered member youth clubs and recreation centers. Tryouts and games for grade 8 boys and girls begin in each fall and run through winter. To register, contact your local club or center.