New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

The Sports Journal

New Britain School System Establishes New Youth Basketball League

This year, superintendent Kelt Cooper has partnered with Jerry Carter, president of VIBE Athletics, to provide students in New Britain’s public elementary and middle schools with their own youth basketball league to supplement their after school programs.

The new league, which will begin this school year, will give the children of the New Britain community a fun environment in which they will be able to develop into more well-rounded individuals. Each of the 11 public elementary schools will play each other twice a year, resulting in a full 22 game season. The children will be instructed by the capable coaching staff of VIBE Athletics, a non-profit organization that has been providing youth athletic programs to the New Britain community for seventeen years.

The new league will teach student-athletes the importance of hard work and dedication both on and off the court. Under the expert tutelage of VIBE’s experienced coaches, children will learn the fundamentals of the game, how to live a healthy lifestyle, and the values of teamwork and leadership. In addition to these valuable life lessons, children will also be taught the importance of academic excellence. Under the league rules, each student-athlete will be required to maintain at least a C average in all of their school classes in order to remain eligible to play. Student-athletes will also have access to after school tutoring programs, which will help them remain academically eligible to participate in the league and teach them the importance of a good education.

Jerry Carter, president of VIBE Athletics, believes that the new basketball league will have a positive effect on the public school system.

“I think we need school spirit back in New Britain,” says Carter. “The public schools have been losing kids to Catholic and magnet schools because of a lack of athletics, and I think this is going to change that. We’re hoping that this league will develop other extra-curricular activities as well, like a cheerleading program and a women’s league.”

Jerry Carter is no stranger when it comes to building up our city’s youth. He started VIBE Athletics in 1996 to give children positive role models and fun activities to give them a safe environment in which to grow. This past Friday, VIBE hosted the Finals for its annual summer youth basketball league. The game took place between the Lakers and the Clippers, with the Clippers narrowly edging out the Lakers 47-45 to win the Championship. In addition to their annual summer basketball league, VIBE Athletics also holds an annual charity golf tournament at Tunxis Plantation Golf Course, with the proceeds going toward partial and full scholarships for children to attend the St. Thomas Moore Basketball Camp. This year, VIBE was able to send 11 children to St. Thomas Moore with either full or partial scholarships.

Parents of New Britain children are looking forward to the new public school basketball league.

“I think [the program] is great,” says Carlos Rodriguez, who had two children in Friday’s VIBE championship basketball game. “I sent my kids to one of the magnet schools in Hartford for the after school activities; I’m just glad one of my kids is still in New Britain’s school system so they can take advantage of it.”

With VIBE’s proven track

record of helping New Britain’s youth, the public school’s new basketball league is sure to be a great success. Registration for the league will take place in the beginning of the school year, with the season beginning the first Monday after Thanksgiving break.