From left to right are Junior NBA coaches Ethan Edgars and Simon Jones-Wesley together with organizers Constable Mike Hull and David Lomax of Haida Gwaii Rec. With lowered hoops and smaller balls for five to seven-year-olds, the Junior NBA program runs for 12 Sundays at the Howard Phillips Community Hall starting Sept. 23. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Tip-off time for Junior NBA

Masset community coaches to run weekly basketball program for five- to seven-year-olds

It’s about friendship, team play, and beginner basketball skills for Haida Gwaii’s smaller ballers.

A new Junior NBA program for kids ages five to seven kicks off Sunday, Sept. 23 at the Howard Phillips Community Hall in Masset and runs until Dec. 9.

Thanks to community coaches and a helping grant from B.C.’s civil forfeiture program, the 12-week program will cost just $20.

“I think it’s going to be super fun,” says Constable Mike Hull of the Masset RCMP, who is organizing the Junior NBA program with help from Haida Gwaii Rec.

Besides learning passes, rebounds, and shots, every child who joins will get a small ball, a kid-sized NBA shirt, plus a poster and certificate at the end.

Standing outside the community hall last week with one of the four new lowered hoops shipped over for the program were Ethan Edgars and Simon Jones-Wesley, two of the four local youth who will help coach the kids.

“It’s just about giving back to the community,” said Jones-Wesley, remembering how older guys like Michael Grant and Donovan Hunter ran soccer programs for him and Ethan when they were younger.

Hull said there are 30 spots in the program, and 13 kids signed up the first day that registrations opened on the Haida Gwaii Rec website.

Depending how it caches on, Hull said there may be a similar program for seven to 13 year-olds in the new year, and it would be great to run the Junior NBA program in the south end, too.

For more information or to register, visit or call HG Rec at 250-626-5652.

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