Program recognized for commitment to community and work with young athletes
OKLAHOMA CITY, Monday, July 13, 2020 – The NBA today announced that the YMCA Thunder Basketball League was named the Jr. NBA’s Program of the Year. The YMCA Thunder Basketball League is a youth league partnership between the Oklahoma City Thunder and statewide YMCA branches.

In its second year of operation, the YMCA Thunder Basketball League serves over 11,000 participants from 125 communities and is played in 24 different cities/YMCA locations. The league seeks to leverage the excitement and passion around recreational and competitive programming to create a healthy outlet for children to gain new skills, develop a sense of team and connect with positive role models. The league’s curriculum is centered around the pillars of teamwork, respect, determination and community.

“It’s an honor for the YMCA Thunder Basketball League to be selected for this award, and a reflection of the commitment we’ve made to positively impact the young athletes, volunteer coaches and communities that support these programs,” said Michelle Matthews, manager of Fan Development for the Thunder. “This impact is not possible without the countless hours put in by YMCA employees from across the state; their passion to change the lives of young athletes on and off the court extends far beyond this recognition.”

“We are honored that the YMCA Thunder Basketball League has been selected as the 2020 Jr. NBA Program of the Year,” states Chris Berry, District Executive Director and Sports Director with the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City. “Beyond the game, the league’s impact expands through hours of service from volunteer coaches who provide positive mentorship, Character Development Clinics, virtual clinics during the COVID-19 pandemic, unique opportunities through YMCA Night with the Oklahoma City Thunder and so much more. We are excited to share this honor with all of the participants, coaches, supporters and staff.”

A few of the league’s program highlights include Court of Character, Her Time to Play, Volunteer Coaches Training, Champions League and virtual clinics. Also assisting volunteer coaches, the program provides instructors with coaching materials such as a basketball drills and off-court character programming.

For more information on Thunder Youth Basketball camps, fans are encouraged to go to okcthunder.com/youthbasketball.

Thunder Youth Basketball seeks to provide every participant with quality instruction, with a focus on defined fundamentals: instilling the importance of teamwork, creating a positive learning environment and increasing self-confidence to encourage hard work, focus and persistence. Through online and in-person instruction, the Thunder seeks to inspire a love for the game that creates motivation for continued play among youth.

The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the Oklahoma City metro area, 16 Ys engage more than 160,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and¬¬¬¬¬¬ support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities across the country, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

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