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January 26, 2013
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Youth basketball league to tip off inaugural season

The founder of the Grass Valley Basketball League, Steve Matthews, has set his sights on starting a youth basketball league that he hopes will be a jumping off point for a bigger project.

Matthews has created the Kids Fitness Spring League, which will open registration in February for a basketball season that tips off March 23 and spans eight games.

“The kids will have an NBA style league,” Matthews said. “And I mean an NBA style league. They’re going to have stats, just like we did in the GVBL.

“We’ll get the sponsorships in and provide the shirts for the kids. All we’re going to ask is the parents put down their (jersey) number so we don’t get a criss cross of numbers.”

The first registration date for the league will be from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Feb. 2 at Beach Hut Deli in Grass Valley.

The league will be broken into two age divisions, 8-10 year olds and 11-13 year olds, and will cost $40 per participant.

“We want to keep the cost where it raises funds for the organization, but doesn’t hurt people’s pockets,” said Matthews.

The league will be co-ed and games will be played at Union Hill School in Grass Valley from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturdays, Matthews said.

The Kids Fitness Spring League will be the springboard for Matthews non-profit organization, KidsFitness24/7, to gain traction, he said.

Matthews hopes to one day bring a sports complex to Nevada County where young people can have a productive and safe place to participate in an array of different activities.

Matthews envisions a 6,000 – 8,000 square foot facility that would house a multi purpose court for basketball, volleyball, handball, indoor soccer and possibly indoor baseball. The complex would also have a computer room for kids to do their homework as well as a snack shack, Matthews said.

Before the sports complex becomes more than a dream of Matthews it has many hurdles to overcome.

Matthews said he would need to raise about $100,000 to get started as well as locate a building that could house such a facility.

That’s where the KidsFitness24/7 non-profit organization comes into play. Matthews has placed loose change containers in several grocery stores, gas stations and other local businesses in hopes of raising enough funds to get the complex started.

As for the adult basketball league that Matthews started, the GVBL, he said it isn’t going anywhere it just has no where to play its games.

“The Grass Valley Basketball League will never go away,” Matthews said. “I have had conversations with the players that played in that league, young and old, and they all say on a daily basis, ‘when is the next league.’”

Currently the league, which played its inaugural season in 2012 at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Hall, is without a location to hold games.

“I’d love to do a spring, summer and fall league but we have no place to play,” he said.

Matthews said he has run into road blocks with every gym he has tried to secure for the league, but that he is continuing to explore all his options.

For more information on the GVBL see http://www.gvbl.net/, and for more about the Kids Fitness Spring League visit www.kidsfitness247.org.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.


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The Union Updated Jan 28, 2013 02:42PM Published Feb 1, 2013 01:25AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.