After two decades, a massive Brooklyn children’s basketball league continues to grow and teach youngsters valuable lessons on and off the court.
Nonprofit organization, Interparish Sports Association (ISA), is a league that depends on support from private contributions.
On Wednesday, September 30, the league will host its kick-off meeting and first registration period of the season. Parents who sign up their kids during the event for the upcoming 2015-16 season will receive 10 percent off their registration fee.
The league is designed for kids ranging from eight to 17 years old. “The league started in 1995 and we are celebrating our 20th season,” said Vice President of ISA Mark Mellone. “In our league, we do other things, but our main focus is basketball.”
Mellone stressed that while the league’s main objective is to teach rising stars how to shoot hoops and play solid defense, he and his partner Mike Rossetti also want it to build character. “It’s a place for kids not only to play basketball and learn the fundamentals of the game, but to have respect and develop common sense,” he said, adding., “It gets them off the streets and gives them something positive to do.”
According to Mellone, several parishes and Catholic organizations join the league as Catholic Youth Organizations (CYO) are welcome. “In the past, we’ve had parishes from all around, such as Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Mill Basin, participate,” he said. “We are also trying to branch out in Queens.”
The IBL typically consists of 10 kids per team and can range anywhere from 55 to 70 teams a season. Each team plays 12 games in a season and registration ranges from $220-$280 depending on the child’s age.
Although the IBL is an official member of the Jr. NBA program, which is intended for boys and girls ages six to 14 to help them learn the fundamentals of the game as well as emphasizing sportsmanship, the league receives no direct funding from them or other programs.
The kickoff meeting will take place at Knights of Columbus, 3051 Nostrand Avenue, at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.eteamz.com/interparish/.