A popular basketball program is expanding from Abbotsford to Chilliwack.
Starting Sept. 16-17, BC Bounce will offer hoops schooling to boys and girls in kindergarten to Grade 8.
Called BC Bounce Chilliwack, sessions will be held in the Cheam Leisure Centre Gymnasium.
For a registration fee of $165, players will get one 90 minute practice and one game day per week.
“It’s a new program in partnership with the leisure centre, with the goal to expose as many kids as possible to basketball,” said Pat Lee.
Pat and Mike Lee (father and son) founded BC Bounce in Abbotsford three years ago.
Pat should be well-known to local basketball fans for a hugely successful run at the University-College of the Fraser Valley.
After coaching the UCFV women for two seasons, he moved to the men’s side in 1995. Pat went 151-56 as the Cascades coach.
He guided UCFV to four British Columbia Colleges Athletic Association (BCCAA) crowns and three national titles.
At the high school level he guided Aldergrove secondary school’s senior girls to a provincial title, two second place finishes and two third place finishes.
In Chilliwack, he’ll oversee a coaching staff that includes himself, Dominick Vann and Kevin Ford.
“I only want good people coaching because you’re only as good as the people you have in place,” Lee explained. “We’ve been really strong with that in Abbotsford and we must continue with that here.
“I look for my coaches to be good listeners, who are enthusiastic, love working with kids and can command the moment. Experience is not as important as heart, in my opinion.”
Vann, a Western Washington University grad, played club basketball in France and spent the last year coaching in Beijing, China.
Ford was a point guard on the 2013-14 University of the Fraser Valley team, and looks to be moving on to the next phase in his life.
Lee describes him as a great young coach.
“We’ll start with those two and myself and see what we need from there,” Lee said. “That would allow us to start with 30-40 kids. If we get those numbers I’d be ecstatic, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see more.”
A typical practice will start with a short but energetic warmup followed by station-work. Kids will cycle through 10 minutes of passing, then layups, then shooting.
Older players will work on one-on-one moves and all practices will end with some sort of game.
“We usually end it with something fun like dribble tag, so they all run away happy,” Lee said.
Saturday’s games, depending on numbers, will be played four-on-four.
“Over the weeks the intensity goes up and the kids seem to have a great time,” Lee noted. “And we feel that playing four on four in a game situation prepares players for the club program we offer in the spring and fall.”
One thing Lee promises is that the kids won’t be standing around.
“I want them busy, active and engaged with smiles on their faces,” he said. “I hate to see kids standing around and when I step on the court, it’s business for me. I’m there to make sure those kids get good benefit from what I know, and I get after it. That’s the way I want our young coaches to be.”
Lee does not expect BC Bounce to compete with Trans Canada Athletics, a flourishing program that starts in early April and carries on through the summer. Rather, Lee expects the two to complement each other, with BC Bounce running until March.
The Abbotsford program started with 18 kids and now serves 100-plus.
“What I love to see is the four, five and six year old kids who come in a bit timid, and by the time the session is over they are enjoying the whole experience and are left wanting more,” “Lee said. “It’s overwhelming at the start when they can’t even dribble the ball. But when it’s over I ask the parents and many of them say, ‘My kid loves it.”
Get more information online at bcbounce.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org