Beyond the Playbook: Rookie Basketball Association practices with Duluth East

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The Salvation Army Rookie Basketball Association (RBA) has been helping K-8 youth in the Duluth area develop their skills since 1987.

In December they headed to Duluth East high school for a practice with the boys’ varsity team. Learn foundational individual and team skills from some of the best players in the Northland.

“Hopefully we can make them a little better. Show them what East basketball is about. Show them how we communicate together and how we just love each other. Try to build the program from bottom up,” said Varsity shooting Guard Michael Kastelic.

Currently there are close to 500 kids enrolled in the program. For 10 year Association Director Kris Mallett, these type of events have now come full circle.

“I have seen a lot of these guys, these guys out here that are playing varsity when they were tiny. When they were the little ones, the first graders that were running around playing basketball. It’s really exciting to be able to see them being successful on the court, but also know that they’re making an impact off the court as well as young men,” said Mallett.

The Greyhounds gave the 76 different RBA coaches a rest on the day, taking over the drill planning and letting them enjoy the moment.

“Every little kid wants to come and play in the big gym, so getting a chance to come here is really important. Having the chance to come here and see the big kids do stuff is awesome,” claimed RBA coach Mike Pothast.

Still the overreaching goal was for these high school athletes to learn the value of coaching others.

“One coach can impact more people in a year than the average person will in a lifetime. We’re trying to use basketball as a vehicle to change the lives of youth,” concluded Mallett.

For more information the the Rookie Basketball Association CLICK HERE.