Saturday marked the opening ceremony for the return of the Little Dribblers basketball program in Madisonville at the Junior High School gym and was attended by players and parents.
“One thing that was important to me right off the bat when I came to Madisonville was youth basketball,” said Chris Reid, who completed his first season at the helm of the MHS basketball program in the spring. “In order to have any success at the high school level, you need to have successful youth programs.”
The Little Dribblers program had been out of commission for the last few years before Reid made the effort to bring it back along with members of the community who had the same idea, including Tammy Gilbert. Reid and Gilbert worked with MCISD Superintendent Keith Smith and the school board to access the facilities and setup the current summer league to prepare for the upcoming season.
“To have successful youth programs, you need to have dedicated alumni and members of the community to support these kids,” said Reid. “That is why I am so ecstatic to see this in place right now.”
The gym was the site of multiple games throughout the day as well as the ceremony, in which Reid spoke to the crowd surrounded by all of the players, referees and volunteers and thanked the parents and locals who were instrumental in the process. He then highlighted the importance of bringing youth basketball back to the community.
“All our kids are dedicated along with our coaches, who put in a lot of time throughout the week with practice,” said Reid. “They teach these kids the right way to do things in basketball but as people as well.”
Reid, who is also a teacher at MHS and a former collegiate student-athlete, touched on the importance of academic success and revealed plans for a possible study hall one night a week during the season. He also offered to dedicated time to work with them on the fundamentals of the game once the season is under way.
The Little Dribblers season will include ages as young as three years old through fourteen. The summer league season is through age twelve. Reid anticipates that next summer’s league will include all of the Little Dribbler age groups.