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  • Hot Trends: Winter Basketball Programs For Kids

    Our picks for the city’s top youth basketball programs are a slam dunk.

    By Lorraine Duffy Merkl

    Budding basketballers take their shots at YYAA.

    The Knicks and Nets aren’t the only ones getting ready for the season. Now that the winter sports season is fast approaching, junior hoopsters all over the city are looking for a place to refine their jump shots, free throws, and dribbling technique. Here are the teams, leagues, and clinics around Manhattan that offer your young player a chance to score. Swish!

    92Y
    1395 Lexington Avenue & 200 Hudson Street
    Children ages 4-12 can learn the fundamentals of basketball in a fun, unique environment at 92nd Street Y in the 92Y Dribblers program, lessons, and youth leagues. 92Y Dribblers is for kids ages 4-5, while additional afterschool and Sunday basketball programs are offered for children ages 4-12. 92y.org/basketball

    Asphalt Green
    Locations on the UES & Battery Park City
    From learning basic dribbling skills to league play, Asphalt Green’s basketball program is offered on the Upper East Side and, most recently, at their brand-new facility in Battery Park City. Instructional programs start with kids at age 3 by teaching basketball through the fundamentals of movement and then progress to hoopers up to age 14 to help them develop advance ball-handling skills, shooting, and team play. Leagues are available for kids 7-9. Private lessons and sports camps are also offered at both locations. asphaltgreen.org/basketball, asphaltgreenbpc.org/basketball

    Basketball City
    Hunter College & Pier 36 (299 South Street)
    Basketball City offers one of NYC’s most comprehensive instructional basketball programs. The Youth Development League focuses on teaching the fundamentals of the game in a fun and competitive environment. YDL is dedicated to small group instruction and real, full-court game situations. Participants are divided into groups based on age and skill level and receive the most professional experience from the Basketball City staff. YDL is held at Hunter College on Saturdays at 11am for kids ages 7-16, while various clinics and mini camps are held throughout the year at both the uptown and downtown locations. basketballcity.com

    Young hoopsters hit the court at the Field House at Chelsea Piers.

    Basketball Stars 

    6 West 75th Street
    This program is a full-service youth basketball organization made up of former NBA and Division I college basketball players and coaches who work with children ages 3-17 through afterschool programs, private training, travel basketball teams (the BSNY Titans), position-specific mini-camps, summer camps, and birthday parties. Certified coaches assist in building self-confidence, character, and discipline through practice and teaching the game that they love. basketballstarsofny.com

    Dribbl
    Various Locations
    Dribbl is an instructional and recreational basketball program for kids ages 3-14. The Dribbl program aims to develop and refine skills such as shooting, passing, footwork, and ball-handling. Classes are currently available on the Upper East Side, on the Upper West Side, in Brooklyn, and in downtown Manhattan. dribbl.com

    Fastbreak Sports
    1629 1st Ave. (between 84th & 85th Streets)
    This is an amazing instructional program for kids ages 4-16. With the grand opening of their state of the art basketball center located on the Upper East Side, Fastbreak is able to offer afterschool and weekend classes in fundamentals, competitive leagues, travel teams, small groups, and private lessons seven days a week. Whether your child is a beginner or an advanced player, Fastbreak has the perfect program or team for them. fastbreakkids.com

    The Field House at Chelsea Piers
    23rd Street & West Side Highway
    The Field House at Chelsea Piers offers a variety of basketball programs for children ages 3-14. With Little Athletes classes for the preschool level, plus afterschool and Saturday clinics for the older kids, the Field House offers players of varying skill levels the opportunity to learn the game, master fundamentals, and compete as a team. More advanced players ages 8-14 should check out the Chelsea Piers competitive travel team, CP Evolution. chelseapiers.com

    Mo’ Motion Basketball & Training 
    203 WEST 109th Street
    This program teaches, motivates, and inspires children in grades pre-K to 11 through Mo’ Motion’s skill-based curriculum, which includes weeknight workouts, weekend clinics, and team practices and games. Mo’ Motion takes pride in providing equal opportunities for girls and boys. Their exceptional staff believes in the intense yet friendly structure and style, as well as their ability to use athletic experiences to teach children the values of rigorous training, self-discipline, and team play. momotion.org

    Asphalt Green

    Slam Dunk @ The JCC in Manhattan
    334 Amsterdam Avenue
    School–age programs at The JCC provide experiences that enrich, empower, and engage children. Slam Dunk @ The JCC in Manhattan will help young athletes master offensive and defensive techniques, learn basketball drills, scrimmage, and play games. Emphasis is placed on teamwork, coordination, and skill building. This class services children ages 6-12. jccmanhattan.org

    YMCA
    Various locations 
    The YMCA’s recreational youth basketball programs are a great opportunity for kids to learn the fundamentals of basketball while introducing the concept of teamwork and enhancing self-confidence. With guidance from expert instructors, young athletes can learn gradually while having fun in a semi-competitive environment. Skills classes and leagues are offered at various branches throughout the city. ymcanyc.org

    Yorkville Youth Athletic Association
    East 88th Street
    From beginner to semi-competitive to competitive and developmental programming, YYAA Basketball offers it all. Children in grades pre-K to 1 are taught skills and drills in a fun atmosphere, while grades 2-12 practice and compete. Additionally, travel/AAU programs provide competitive basketball to talented players in grades 4-9. Next Level is YYAA’s developmental program geared to take your child’s skills to their full potential. yyaa.org

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