Girls Playing Basketball

LCSC to oversee local USA Basketball program for youths ages 6-17

LEWISTON, Idaho –  The Lewis-Clark Valley has been selected as one of 16 sites in the United States for the USA Basketball Open Court Program in 2018, thanks to an application submitted by Lewis-Clark State College’s Pete Van Mullem, an associate professor in the college’s Business Division.

The USA Basketball Open Court Program is a non-instructional program that encourages open play basketball to youths in a safe and fun environment. The free program allows boys and girls to participate on a weekly basis and earn participation points that can be redeemed for prizes.

The location and times of the program in the L-C Valley will be determined during the next month, but will likely be held on Sundays starting in February and running through early May. There will be 1-2 hours sessions for different age groups, ranging from age 6 to 17, so that participants will be playing with others similar to their age. The program is open to all youths in Washington and Idaho.

Van Mullem said he learned about the program after being a guest speaker at a USA Basketball Coaching Academy at Las Vegas in August. To be picked as a site to host the program, certain requirements must be met, including being in an area that has potential cost barriers for underprivileged youth to participate, a large enough facility, and proper staffing. The program’s purpose is to help grow the game of basketball for all youth.

Van Mullem said LCSC will partner with the Clarkston School District, Lewiston Parks and Recreation, and the Boys & Girls Club of the Lewis Clark Valley to promote the program to area youth. Registration will occur on site and will require a waiver signed by a parent or guardian for each participant prior to their first session. Also, participants will sign in each time so they earn participation points. Points then can be turned into prizes after the final session of the program.

Van Mullem said it is a win-win for LCSC. As well as being the lead for the program, LCSC students majoring in sport administration and other degree programs will complete internships, serve as the court monitors, and assist in the administration of the program. Sport administration is a co-curricular degree between the new Movement & Sport Sciences Division and the Business Division at the college.

Van Mullem said he is currently working on the final details of the program, including the dates, location, and getting the word out to area youth. Once the details are finalized, more information on the program will be announced.

For more information on the program, contact Van Mullem at pwvanmullem@lcsc.edu