Andrew Trzaska | August 27, 2013
Muskegon Public Schools will continue to offer a fall and winter youth basketball league with the financial support of the City of Muskegon.
The city will put $18,500 into the program for the 2013-2014 season, which will come out of the city’s Leisure Services budget, which is supported by the city’s Community Development Block Grant. This is the same contribution as last year, which goes to supplies plus payroll for supervisors, referees and statisticians.
This city partnership with Muskegon Public Schools is in many ways like their agreement the city has with the Lakeshore Baseball Club, who maintains and runs leagues at the historic Marsh Field as well as several other city baseball fields.
The program will continue to include a girls basketball league starting in October and a boys league starting in January. Open gym will be offered on Saturdays after the end of each week’s league games for three hours.
Since the school district closed down its pools in 2011 due to budget cuts, the open swim portion of the program, last seen in 2010, will remain absent for another year.
Use of CDBG dollars requires a level of reporting on how the money is being put to use. Figures obtained from last year’s league indicate it served 400-500 youth. 90% of participants were African American, 7% were Caucasian, and 3% were Hispanic. Up to 200 youth utilized the open gym period. These numbers are roughly on par with the 2011-2012 numbers.
Both leagues require submission of a registration form plus a $25 fee, which goes toward a reversible jersey, team plagues, league trophies and offsetting other operation costs.
The girls’ six-week session will accept registration forms from October 1 through October 12. The boys’ session will take registrations from January 7 through January 18th. Registration forms will be collected with fees at the Muskegon Community Education Center on Apple Avenue.
Documents obtained from the city indicate Muskegon Public Schools plans to continue running the program after the winter of 2013-2014, and expressed hopes that the program will grow in future years.