Basketball fun for 14 yo boy

My 14 yo freshman son is an athletic kid (mostly in baseball) who has shown a lot of interests in playing basketball but feels too intimidated due to never been in a basketball team before.  He has done a couple of Triple Threat and summer sports camps in the past for fun and skill building.  He loves to play street ball with his friends but high school basketball team is just too competitive, may not be where he feel comfortable to start.  Would love to find a fun but skill building team that he can train (year round?) and build competitive game skills and most of all, confident in the team sport.  Can anyone recommend such a group/coach/team in the East Bay?  We live in Oakland.

Wished we had tried sooner to put him in a youth basketball team, but he has been so focused in baseball (& also soccer in early years) that we just didn't.  Hope its not too late... Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Thanks!

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RE: Basketball fun for 14 yo boy ()

First I would say it's never too late! There are numerous stories of college and NBA players who came up as baseball, football or soccer kids. This might seem obvious but have you looked into the Y? Oakland and Berekley YMCA both have ongoing youth basketball teams. My son played for the Oakland Y team when he was 12 -13. Some of the coaches are really good - some not so good, but It might be worth checking out. Well worth the membership fee I think, plus he might start getting into weight training or other fun activities.

RE: Basketball fun for 14 yo boy ()

Your best bet if you are wanting your son to build up his skills and potentially play on his high school team is to have him try an AAU team in the area. There are varying levels of intensity and competitiveness among the AAU teams..... look into them and try to talk to a few coaches and see what might be the best fit? There's the Oakland Rebels, the Oakland Soldiers, the Berkeley Red Devils, Richmond Vision.

My 11-year-old son just joined an AAU team after playing for years on the street with friends and doing some recreational leagues. He wanted to move on to the next level. The practices are *hard*--tons of drills and lots and lots of running and strengthening and he's playing with other 11-year-olds who've been doing this for years now and they are *good*. They're prepping the kids for high school basketball. 

RE: Basketball fun for 14 yo boy ()

Try Warriors Basketball.  It's a laidback rec league in the East Bay.   Contact Phil Doherty 510-604-9992.  The spring season is just getting ready to start so your timing is perfect.

RE: Basketball fun for 14 yo boy ()

I won't be surprised if you get a bunch of replies similar to this, but in case no one else does, here goes. Coach Rick runs a really great program. It may technically only go through 8th grade, but depending on your son's size and experience, you might want to check it out anyway. He'd get coaching, a team, but less pressure than AAU teams or high school teams. Rick will let him go check it out to see if it's right for him.

Director: Rick Slettedahl
Tel: 510 932-6584
Email: rickslet [at] berkeley.edu