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Picayune Basketball Association ready for evaluation day

The Picayune Basketball Association has had registration open for the past month and is now ready to have the league’s evaluation day.

Athletes who have signed up will go through a series of drills and spend time with the organization’s coaches to determine each player’s skill level and knowledge of the game.

The workout will take place Saturday and start at 10 a.m.

Following the evaluation day, the athletes will be split into teams based on age and skill level.

Eric Vianney, who runs PBA and also coaches the Picayune Maroon Tide varsity basketball team, said the goal is to have teams that are as evenly matched as possible.

Not only will this make the games more competitive, but it’ll also allow players to work on their skills against other athletes with a similar level of ability.

“We’re not looking for teams to have five good players and go against another group who doesn’t know how to pass. We want our kids coming into the league to get to compete and get better every practice and every game,” Vianney said.

The league serves as a way for young athletes to learn about the game of basketball.

However, it also works as a feeder program for the Maroon Tide varsity program, and over the years there have been several instances of players spending time in the organization and falling in love with the sport, then pursuing it while in high school.

Those are just two of the reasons why the season is still on track to take place as the world continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re still trying to provide an opportunity to kids who want to improve and come to develop their skills,” Vianney said.

The current schedule states practice sessions will start the week after evaluation day, with games either following the subsequent week or the week after.

Competition is a key part of player improvement, but having a strong foundation to build on helps.

Vianney is hoping that over the years more young athletes sign up so that they can move forward and take advantage of the opportunities provided by the sport of basketball.

“I would love for kids to learn about basketball at a young age to then continue to learn and develop to one day be those guys that go to college and play basketball, but they have to be involved. Parents have to find a way to get them involved so they can work on their skills,” Vianney said.