Star league gets teens on the ball

Star ballers: Star Basketball League includes about 150 players across different age groups. Picture: Anna Warr

Star ballers: Star Basketball League includes about 150 players across different age groups. Picture: Anna Warr

A community basketball league is keeping kids off Blacktown streets and focused on their studies.

Teams from different age groups from the Star Basketball League train every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at Blacktown PCYC.

Court hire costs are reduced by the PCYC and the rest covered by SydWest Multicultural Services.

The league was the initiative of the young players themselves.

Coach Mayor Chagai said they needed extra funds for court hire and equipment costs since funding from a PCYC NSW crime prevention program dried up in June.

"We really struggle . . . we need extra resources," he said.

"I would love our local community from Blacktown all the way to Mt Druitt and even Seven Hills and Toongabbie to see the talent our players have."

SydWest Multicultural Services youth projects co-ordinator Mustapha Bangura described the league as a "bridge to all settlers".

"Most of the people involved in this program are refugees and migrants. You can develop social cohesion from there. It will help them to stay away from crime and being disengaged," he said.

The league is linked to a SydWest "homework project", in which players' parents contact the coaches if their kids aren't focusing on their studies, and if players drop the ball with school, they do not get on the court.

"We see if they are going to school, if they are doing their assignments. We want them to be able to maintain a balance," Mr Bangura said.

About 150 young players are currently involved in boys' and girls' teams.

Teams from the league recently competed in the South Sudanese Australian national basketball tournament with basketballers from across the country. Two teams made it to the grand finals.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop