The HOYTES (Helping Our Youth Through Education and Sports) Development Program announced recently that registration is now open for the 2018/2019 season.
The weekly basketball program, which takes place on the basketball court at the Gladstone “Moon” McPhee Park, Sergeant Major Road has continued to foster an outlet for boys and girls to work on their basketball skills every weekend, for years now.
This coming Saturday, September 8 that tradition is set to continue.
Expectations are high this year for the youth developmental program and HOYTES Founder, Coach McPhee told The Freeport News he expects the new and returning players to come into the program with a high level of commitment to developing their skills.
“We want to cater to the youngsters who are interested and serious about basketball,” McPhee said. “We’ve never had a babysitting camp, but we want to make sure our kids get the best from us as coaches and they give us their best as players, study the game and move on.”
Each year the program kicks off in early September and concludes in the month of July. The registration fee is affordable and is allocated toward equipment for the players.
McPhee is confident that this year will be even more exciting for the players. One point of interest Coach McPhee pointed to was making sure the players are able to travel this year.
McPhee admitted that last year the HOYTES contingent did not make their annual trips like in years in past. He is hopeful that he can also get the players to start saving monies for when it is time to travel.
“We’re going to make sure start from the beginning and get the kids to save towards going to a summer camp. Last year we wanted them to go to Ole Miss with Coach Yo’s (Yolett McPhee-McCuin) Camp for a week. This year we’re going to start from September to make sure the girls go.
“We’re also going to make sure that we are back on the road traveling for tournaments. We understand that some of our kids didn’t have a good time traveling with other people’s organizations. Mrs. (Carolyn) Forbes would be dealing with that to make sure we make our reservations early and find out what the expenses are.”
McPhee furthered that the reason the program did not travel was based on today’s economy. He also acknowledged the pressure that it would put on parents, which is why the organization chose to forego traveling. However, the renowned coach appears more optimistic that everything will come together.
“But now it seems the economy will be a bit better. We hope it gets better so we can get our kids and corporate people to feel better to give us the support that we need.”
McPhee concluded with a plea to all former HOYTES players to go out on the weekends and lend their coaching and mentoring abilities to the betterment of the children and program.
“We have hundreds of HOYTES alumnus and alumna out there to sponsor a child. All those who benefitted from the HOYTES organization come and sponsor a child ... contact me or come out to HOYTES on the weekend. And those who have time, come out and help with the coaching aspect of it.
“We really think it’s time we learn to give back. I’m asking all those that benefitted from this program to come back and give. I’d appreciate that.”