Youth Basketball League
Established in 1981, the co-ed Corpus Christi Youth Basketball League (CCYBL) in Stone Mountain, Georgia offers approximately 100 young people ages 5 to 16 the opportunity to learn important life and leadership skills from positive mentors while having fun and keeping their bodies healthy.
Beyond the more obvious physical benefits of regular exercise, being part of a sports team run by trained adults has a tremendously positive impact on young people. From their participation in CCYBL, young players learn to work as part of a team while at the same time setting personal goals and working to achieve them. During their 10-game season, the league’s coaches teach their players the value of sportsmanship, hard work, practice, dedication, and respect for others and themselves.
CCYBL’s coaches serve as positive role models and mentors for their players while building lasting relationships in a safe, fun, social setting that serves as a second family to many young people. Many kids who started in the league as 6- or 7-year-olds now work with the next generation of players as volunteer coaches. This strong emotional connection between the players and the league fosters a loyalty to each other and the community. Many players and coaches say that being a part of the CCYBL “feels like coming home.”
This sense of community is especially important as 75% of those involved in the program are not active members of the Corpus Christi parish. By appealing to the larger community, the CCYBL keeps more young people off the street. This group of young players, 90% of whom are African American, practices positive ways to channel and focus their energy while learning to value each other’s unique talents and contributions to the team. The league stresses the point that everyone has something valuable to contribute by making sure that all players on every team play in each game, no matter the score or their skill level.
The Corpus Christi Youth Basketball League is divided into two sub-leagues: winter and summer. The winter league involves almost 200 players, and runs from October to March. Teams meet in Corpus Christi’s parish gym for one 90-minute evening practice and one 60-minute Saturday game each week in addition to other league activities like photo day, skills evaluation, and other fun, competitive events. The summer league is much smaller and runs from April to July. During this time, only the most experienced coaches recruit teams. About 30 young people play during the summer, but with more funding, CCYBL hopes to expand that number.
League volunteers actively reach out to families in the community to make sure everyone has the opportunity to play. Volunteers offer transportation, tutoring, mentoring, and financial support (by way of paying the $100-per-participant program fee) for families in need. The CCYBL and Corpus Christi parish also offer scholarships and discounts to families active in the parish or with 3 or more children involved in the league.
During the season, the CCYBL invites special guests to come and speak to the young players. In the past these guests have included the Atlanta Hawks’ NBA mascot and WNBA and college players and coaches. The league also organizes field trips to NBA or college basketball games.
By combining important life skills with fun and an opportunity to socialize safely with friends, the Corpus Christi Youth Basketball League provides an invaluable opportunity for the parish to impact the lives of the young people in the community.
Our current Cultivating Hope campaign aims to raise $1600 to buy new uniforms for the young athletes of CCYBL. Please consider a donation to help this powerful program keep lifting up children and teens!