More than 50 kids turned up at the Liberty County YMCA on Feb. 12-13 hoping to earn a spot on Scott’s All-Stars basketball team.
Scott’s All-Stars, an academic and athletic program that aims to help kids develop basketball skills and strengthen their academic performance and social awareness, is preparing to enter its second season. The program has expanded from 12 players to four teams with 48 players in the program.
All participants must maintain at least an 80 average in the classroom, perform monthly community service and not be a discipline problem at school in order to be eligible to play.
According to coach Marcus Scott IV, students who do not make the grades are provided with tutoring and cannot play in games until they reach the required GPA. He’s also glad to see interest in the program.
"We were pleased with the turnout and skilled players that showed up for tryouts," Scott said. "Because we hate to cut kids who want to improve, we kept all kids in the elementary and middle-school age groups. We feel that kids that are younger do not have to already have great basketball talent, because it is our coaches’ responsibility to make sure they develop their talents. As long as students are successful academically, we believe we can make them successful on the court."
But Scott said they did have to trim a few high school players due to limited space and kids trying out from as far as Savannah to the surrounding areas.
"This is also an age group that is more established in their routines and will require more rigorous interventions to get acclimated to the program’s values," Scott said. "High school players have to be the role models for the younger groups. Therefore, I expect more from the high school group."
Scott and coach Darrell West thanked the community for its support. Both men think the program is headed in the right direction.
"Last year was a great season for 12 kids," Scott said. "This year, with continued support, we will be able to provide the same resources to four times that number."
For more information, call 655-4371 or go to www.scottsallstars.com.