CAMDEN, N.J. – The Camden Health & Athletic Association (CHAA) on Tuesday hosted closing ceremonies for its inaugural Summer Youth Basketball League, a six-week competitive league that involved eight teams from across the city and more than 80 players between the ages of 12 and 14. The League provided the opportunity for children to play with new teams and against new competition.
“The tremendous success of our first ever Summer Youth Basketball League expands upon the winter basketball programs that we support across the city,” said Al Dyer, Executive Director of CHAA. “The level of competition was impressive as these kids played their hearts out and ended the season stronger, smarter and closer as teammates than they started.”
The closing ceremonies were held at the Rutgers-Camden gym immediately after the league championship game. Following the game, trophies were presented to the first- and second-place teams, and players from all eight teams received participation awards.
This summer CHAA expanded its summer basketball programming and increased opportunities for youth athletes to develop their skills and play competitively. In addition to its inaugural summer league, CHAA supported two additional summer basketball programs in Camden, Below the Rim and Dribble 2 Dream.
In total, nearly 300 children ranging in age from 8 to 14 participated in CHAA’s summer basketball programming, allowing participants to play from June to mid-August. Over the summer, players also learned valuable lessons about teamwork, leadership, commitment and respect.
Below the Rim provided boys and girls ages 8 to 11 a six-week program of skills and drills with weekly competitive league play. The program played at the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy Whittier Middle School, where Below the Rim also runs its successful winter league.
The Dribble 2 Dream Summer Youth Basketball League, a co-ed league for boys and girls ages 8-16, provided a weekly skills program with weekend league play at the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy at Lanning Square.
CHAA was fortunate to have two corporate partners that supported summer basketball in the city. As corporate sponsors, Subaru of America Foundation and the Sixers Youth Foundation allowed CHAA to expand summer basketball at no cost to the players.
“Subaru of America was happy to support the Camden Health & Athletic Association and serve as the premier sponsor for its three summer basketball programs,” said Sandy Capell, Subaru manager of philanthropy and corporate responsibility. “We are proud to call Camden our home, and we want to be active partners in helping our community thrive.”
Amy Hever, Executive Director of Social Responsibility for the 76ers said: “With CHAA’s leadership, more kids in Camden had the opportunity to get out and play this summer. The Sixers Youth Foundation is excited to have been a part of this collaborative effort to increase quality access to sport-based youth development programs.”
CHAA Chairwoman Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of The Cooper Foundation thanked Subaru and the Sixers Youth Foundation for their support.
“Subaru and the Sixers Youth Foundation are dedicated to improving the lives of children in Camden,” Levin said. “They are Camden’s champions.”
Camden Mayor Frank Moran applauded the basketball program.
“Partnerships are essential to the strength and growth of our city,” said Moran. “Seeing businesses like Subaru and the Sixers come together with CHAA, to support young athletes, is an investment in our future.”
About the Camden Health & Athletic Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding Camden’s youth sports programs and health initiatives in Camden. The Association launched in June 2016 with a $1 million initial investment by The Cooper Foundation of Cooper University Health Care, the Norcross Foundation and AmeriHealth New Jersey.