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Successful Basketball Season Comes to an End

by Shanine Sealey

Throughout recent years, basketball has been gaining popularity within Martensville, with this season seeing a total of 14 teams in total. Regular season runs from mid-October to the end of February, and then playoffs begin, which run until mid to end of March.

This year, teams consisted of two in the Mini Dunker Program, which runs through the City of Martensville and is for kids in Kindergarten to Grade 2. Games are played once a month against other Martensville teams or Warman teams.

For kids above this age range, they are registered through the Saskatoon Minor Basketball Association and placed on one of the Martensville teams, as long as enough players are available. If there are not enough players to form a team, they are placed on a team in Saskatoon.

Martensville had enough local players registered to form two boys teams and one girls team for grades 3-4, two boys and one girls team for grades 5-6, three boys and one girls team for grades 7-8 and two boys teams for grades 9-10.

“We just about had a Junior Girls team, but unfortunately we were a couple players short, but we are hoping next year, with some of the Bantams moving up that we will be able to have a Girl’s Junior team back in Martensville,” organizer Angie Reddekopp stated.

There were also several players from Martensville that took part in the Next Level Development League, which is a more competitive option that SMBA offers. Tryouts are held for Mini (Grade 5/6) and Bantam (Grades 7/8) and if you are successful, you are placed on a team in Saskatoon to play in a more competitive league outside of recreational play.

The Mini Dunkers and Spuds divisions don’t have playoffs, but for the nine teams that do, a total of 8 teams competed in a final.

“The skill level of basketball players in this community is really increasing and we are seeing a lot of improvement in our kids. Overall, we had a very successful season and we are so proud of all of the kids,” Reddekopp said.

The beginning of the season came with some hurdles as there was a struggle to find coaches; however, they were able to find community members to step up and Reddekopp noted that all coaches had a really good experience and enjoyed the season.

“One thing that has become apparent the last few seasons is that the caliber of players is really improving, so we may look at forming teams for different divisions. As the skill and interest is growing in the community, we will have to revamp things so we can ensure these kids are playing at the level they are capable of playing at so we don’t hinder them competitively.”

Last Spring, Martensville saw the formation of the first ever Club team, the Martensville Thunder for the U13 age division.

Through this, the team was able to play in five tournaments last year, and are planning to participate in six this season.

“Next season, the newly formed Martensville Basketball Association is hoping to create multiple teams in different age divisions for the Club season. Keep an eye out for that information coming next season. Tryouts for this typically take place at the beginning of the year, with the season kicking off in March. This will create more opportunities for players to go to tournaments and exhibitions instead of just league play, and continue to grow as an athlete.”

Information on the next season of basketball in Martensville will be available in the Fall Program Guide, which is available in August, or watch the SMBA website (https://smbayxe.ca/) for details on how to register. Players are registered as a resident of Martensville and are then formed into teams.

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