The St. Clair Junior Saints basketball program recently hosted 50 young athletes for a summer sports camp at the College, teaching them the fundamentals skills and drills it takes to play the game at a high level.
The St. Clair Junior Saints is a not-for-profit youth basketball program established out of St. Clair College that provides opportunities for youth athletes in both competitive and non-competitive basketball environments. The Junior Saints offer travel basketball, development leagues, camps and other fundamental skill development sessions while striving to promote an enjoyable and safe basketball experience for young athletes to grow and develop.
Greg Layson, Vice President of Junior Saints Basketball, said the organization was pleased to reach its goal of hosting 50 campers at the College while also surpassing its fundraising goal to help run the program.
"We reached both goals this week, which was great for our program, especially after coming back after the pandemic," Layson said. "We were only able to run one camp during our first year in 2019-20, and then covid hit, so we were shut down for two years. So, it was important that we had the camp this year to get us back on solid footing, and we feel really good about where we are at."
Layson said the Junior Saints ran the camp to raise funds required for gym time and referees and lower registration costs for athletes while keeping them outfitted with new uniforms, bags, warm-up gear, and miscellaneous practise equipment. The Junior Saints currently operate three travel teams – U16 Girls, U12 Boys & U10 Boys – two of which won bronze medals in Division 3 at the 2022 OBA Championships in April.
Layson said the Junior Saints are now going to expand the program further to include other age groups.
"We are looking to continue the U10 team for boys' grades three and four. Our team last year will move up to U11 Boys, and our U12 will move up to U13, and we will look to backfill the U12 Boys team. We are also looking to add a second girls' team, but that age group has yet to be determined," Layson said. "But we are always looking for players and coaches and kids who are just interested in playing basketball because we are not just a travel program. We do offer camps and development leagues. We're looking for players that want to learn the game and maybe want to aspire to be a travel player."
Next up, the Junior Saints Basketball program will host open runs for boys going into Grade 7 at the outdoor courts at St. Clair on Aug. 18th. For more information, visit stclairjrsaints.com.