Upward drumming up excitement for hoops sign-ups

Published 4:19 pm Friday, October 20, 2017

Sign-ups for Upward Basketball runs through the month of October and organizers aren’t relying on just word-of-mouth.

During a tour of local schools this month, Upward Basketball league officials have been spreading the word of the upcoming league’s registration with events geared to make students excited about basketball.

Through just the first two days of sign-ups, which began Oct. 1, the league already had 100 kids registered. Registration continues until Oct. 28.

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“We also already had more than 10,000 views on our FaceBook page,” Calvary Christian Church paster Mike McCormick said.

Upward 40391, which will serve Clark County, is the product of a group of local churches who are hoping to fill the void left by the Winchester YMCA, which shut its doors earlier this year and hosting a popular local youth basketball league.

The local Association of Churches had hoped to expand how it served the local community and the new Upward league proved to be just what they were looking for.

“Our decision was independent of the Y’s closing, but the timing worked out well for it to be a good way to fill a need in the community,” Wayne McNiel told the Sun earlier this year.

Multiple churches have joined together to make Upward 40391 a reality, some of which have facilities to host league games.

“It’s been awesome to see the churches working together for a common cause like this,” McCormick said.

The league will be for children 4 years old up to 12th-graders. Registration is $55 and includes a jersey, but scholarships are available for those who need them. The churches have worked to raise funds and plan further events to help make it easier to join the league.

“We’ve got a lot of single parents who can’t afford it because of medical problems or other issues,” McCormick said. “I’m excited and pleased with how we’ve made this league possible for every kid. All of the money we’re raising is allowing us to make it available for kids who normally woudn’t get the chance.”

Player valuations are planned for Oct. 28 and Nov. 4.

The first games are scheduled for Dec. 9 and the league will hold games once a week starting Nov. 27 and the postseason tournaments are planned for February.

Upward Sports is a Christian youth sports provider with half a million players participating at more than 2,000 churches, according to the organization’s website.

“It will try to reach and develop the whole kid, not just the athletic skills but also personal skills,” McNiel said.

To sign up online, visit upward40391.com/register/