City kicks off basketball season with free camp

Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:03 p.m.

Registration is ongoing for the Youth Coed Basketball Program run by the city of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department, which will feature a free basketball camp led by Eastside High School basketball coach Pop Williams and his team.



What: The annual city of Gainesville youth coed basketball program for ages 5-14 and a free camp.
When: Camp is 6-8 p.m. Monday; season is mid-December-March.
Where: King Center, 1028 NE 14th St.
Cost: Camp is free; season is $61.75-$117.75.
Miscellaneous: Registration deadline for season is Dec. 20.
Information: Call 352-334-5067.

The camp will be held from 6-8 p.m. Monday with registration beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the King Center at 1028 NE 14th St. James "Jimmy" Goachee, city recreation leader, said the camp will be open to boys and girls ages 7-14. Goachee also said this is the second consecutive year Williams has agreed to run the camp.

Williams, who is in his 17th year as coach of the Rams, said the camp will focus on defense, dribbling, passing, rebounding and shooting.

"We will also talk to them about the importance of getting good grades and having good attitudes," Williams said. "This is just a way for us to give back to the community, something that is important to me and my players."

The youth coed basketball program, which is for boys and girls ages 5-14, will cost $61.75 for ages 5-6 who live within the city limits of Gainesville and $91.50 for non-city residents in the same age group. The cost for ages 7-14 is $78.25 for city residents and $117.75 for non-city residents. Parents will need to show proof of residence by submitting a GRU bill or voter ID card.

The deadline to register is Dec. 20 and can be done from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Thomas Center at 302 NE 6th Ave., Building B, or online at Click on recreation division on the left and then on athletics in the middle of the page. Jerseys and T-shirts will be provided for the players.

Also, parents must become certified by the Parents Association for Youth Sports, or P.A.Y.S., organization, a process that takes 20-30 minutes online and costs $6, according to the organization's website. It is a program of the National Alliance for Youth Sports that promotes good sportsmanship.

The teams will be formed by age, with divisions for ages 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14.

Practices will begin with the camp on Monday and will be held from 6-8 p.m. weeknights, also at the King Center. The season will start in mid-December and end in March, with games being played on Saturdays at various sites in Gainesville.

Goachee said all kids will play, have fun and learn about the six pillars of character promoted by the city of Gainesville. They are: caring, character, citizenship, fairness, responsibility and trustworthiness.

"We are trying to build character because character is something we all need to have, and using sports to do so is a great way to teach character," Goachee said.

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