Grow­ing the game

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Front Page - BY RANDY EDI­SON

Grand Falls-Wind­sor na­tive Jon Pye was in town last week in an ef­fort to try and grow the sport of basketball.

Jon Pye learned a lot about basketball while grow­ing up in Grand Falls-Wind­sor and play­ing for the Ex­ploits Val­ley High Ea­gles.

This past week­end, he was back in town with fel­low in­struc­tor Chad Lang­don of the St. An­thony Basketball Camp hop­ing to en­gage young lo­cal play­ers and pro­vide a spark for growth in the game.

Pye serves as di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions for the St. John’s-based St. An­thony Basketball Pro­gram. The trip to his home­town was part of their ef­forts to “spread the sport around and get some in­ter­est in places where there aren’t any basketball clubs.”

“We wanted to get out to ar­eas that are not usu­ally ex­posed to camps like this,” he added.

The camp was held at Ex­ploits Val­ley High.

“I know that Brian (Cooke) is do­ing the (Steve Nash Pro­gram) for the younger play­ers in Grades 1-3 here and I’m friends with the coach of the high school team, but there may be a coach­ing gap in Grades 5-8,” Pye ex­plained about the sta­tus of mi­nor basketball in his home­town.

“We had 14 par­tic­i­pants (in Grand Falls-Wind­sor) and that was fan­tas­tic,” he said. “We’re try­ing to cre­ate the idea that even if you aren’t ex­posed to a basketball pro­gram, you can still get to camps like this and learn.”

Pye said one pos­si­ble area of fo­cus for the pro­gram in the fu­ture would be for­ma­tion of basketball clubs in some places out­side the cap­i­tal city.

“In the (United) States, and even in Nova Sco­tia lately, that model seems to work,” he told the Ad­ver­tiser.

RANDY EDI­SON PHOTO

Jon Pye in­structs some young fe­male pay­ers in a drill dur­ing the St. An­thony Basketball Camp in Grand Falls-Wind­sor this past week­end.

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