Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

May 2017

USA Basketball Open Court Sessions Get Youths Into the Game

By Dave Ramont

USA Basketball is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. They're responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in the Olympics and other International Basketball Federation (FIBA) competitions, as well as some national competitions.

But they are also dedicated to the development of youth basketball initiatives, and they'll be operating 12 Open Court programs throughout the United States in 2017. The goal of the program is to provide kids a fun and safe environment to partake in free-play basketball while also earning prizes for participating. The Open Court sessions—presented by Nike and free to the community—are open to kids of all ability levels, ages 6 to 17.

Each facility will hold 12 sessions, which will last for either one or two hours, depending on age, for the following groups: 6-to-9-year-olds; 10-to-12-year-olds; and 13-to-17-year-olds. The sessions will focus on basketball stations and basketball-related games, encouraging fun, development, inclusion and free-play in the style of playground basketball. USA Basketball-licensed coaches will supervise each Open Court program.

Participants also can earn points by attending sessions. The program registrar will track each individual's points, which can be traded in for USA Basketball Youth Development and Nike prizes at the end of the sessions. Every participant will have the opportunity to earn at least one prize through their involvement in the program. Additional points can be earned by attending consecutive sessions, bringing a friend (or friends), making a social media post about the program, or achieving perfect attendance. Just a few of the many prizes available include hats, sweatshirts, backpacks, shorts, water bottles, bracelets, notebooks and duffle bags.

Programs have already begun in San Diego; North East, Md.; Dorchester, Mass.; and Durham, N.C. In Montbello, Calif., a program will begin this month. And programs will start in June in Fort Worth, Texas; Chicago; Bethpage, N.Y.; and Hazelwood, Mo. Three additional locations are being finalized.

If you have a facility and meet certain facility and staffing requirements, you can apply to host an Open Court program. Requirements and application guidelines can be found at There, you can also find complete schedules and specific location details, as well as a breakdown of how to earn points and the available prizes.

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