PBA marks first youth basketball league in Picayune

Published 7:00 am Friday, September 22, 2017

In recent history, the Picayune community has been without an organized youth basketball league. Well that ends in the following months, as the inaugural season of the Picayune Basketball Association will begin in November, providing another fun and interactive activity for kindergarten through 6th grade children.

As the Picayune Memorial High School varsity basketball head coach, Kelton Thompson felt there was a need to develop a youth league in Picayune. And with a lack of gyms around the community, he decided to start the PBA for the kids in hopes that it will keep them engaged and active.

“With no youth leagues in the area and little access to gyms, I felt it was necessary to give the kids another option and to provide them with all the benefits basketball has to offer,” Thompson said.

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Registration to play in the PBA costs $55 per player and will be held at the Picayune Memorial High School gym on Oct. 10, 14, 24 and 28 from 4-6 p.m. and Nov. 4-11 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The league will be broken up into separate age groups, making four PBA leagues, including a kindergarten league, 1st and 2nd grade league, 3rd and 4th grade league and a 5th and 6th grade league.

To select the teams within those leagues, Thompson planned a combine held for all players on Nov. 18 at the Picayune gym. During this combine, players from each age group will participate in a camp to rate the players and fairly distribute the talent across the league. Once all players are rated, teams will be selected from a random drawing for each student.

All PBA games will be played on Saturdays at the Picayune gym. The regular season will begin Dec. 2 and run through Jan. 20. Then, the playoffs will begin Jan. 27, following the PBA Finals on Feb. 3.

“We are always looking for ways to keep our youth engaged.

On top of that, keeping the youth active and expose all the benefits that the game has to offer,” Thompson said.

Thompson is also looking for qualified coaches for the PBA. Anyone interesting in coaching should contact Thompson at 504-270-2752.