A shot of Veterans Recreation Center basketball gym in the Northeast.
For my brother’s freshman Speech class at EPCC he’s working on a persuasive speech assignment titled “Can Every1Play? Youth Basketball in the Northeast”. He’s doing research on the availability and cost of organized youth basketball activities at city recreation centers in El Paso. Of the 16 recreation centers in the city, there are two indoor gyms available for kids in the Northeast. A part of his research involved revisiting gyms we all went to at some point in our lives as kids either to play in organized leagues and tournaments, to practice, or for open gym.
Above is a panoramic shot he took at the Veterans Recreation Center gym.
According to the Aspen Institute Project Play, there has been a significant decline in sports participation among 6-12 year olds. From 2008 to 2013, basketball participation among this age group dipped 3.9%. Despite the decline, there are more youth participating in basketball in the U.S. than any other major sport with a total count of 5.5 million. Soccer is in second at 5 million (shout out to our cousin Emilio!) and baseball third at 4.5 million.
We’re interested in learning more about what’s available in El Paso. Especially the Northeast since we were all born and raised here. Ultimately, we’d like to look into the availability of organized basketball activities for youth and the cost. El Paso is about as low-income as a community can get, and we’re interested in what families, sport teams, communities, coaches, mentors, and players are experiencing when it comes to keeping kids involved.
Eventually, we’re also interested in looking into adult leagues. Already our youngest brother post high school graduation has played on two adult leagues that fell apart mid season because of their inability to pay fees for registration and referees.
MCZoo is kicking off the presentation with a quote from Tony Alfonso, “The game of basketball is a game of accepting failure; of accepting imperfection; of realizing that the perfect game has never been played, never will be played, or even could be played.”