On the heels of being selected by the Jr. NBA as one of six outstanding youth basketball programs in the nation for the 2017-2018 season, the Duluth, Minn., Corps Rookie Basketball Association (RBA) has received the Jr. NBA’s Program of the Year award.
The only basketball program for elementary students in Duluth, RBA reaches hundreds of children and their families each year through its 33-team league, three-on-three tournament and summer clinics. The program, which is run entirely on volunteer power, maintains a standard of positive sportsmanship through coaching good character along with basketball skills.
“I was floored when they announced RBA as the national winner,” said Kris Mallett, RBA coordinator. “It was a really big honor to be selected.”
The $5,000 received for this award will be used to fund scholarships for families who can’t afford the registration fee and to purchase equipment to ensure every coach has enough basketballs and other items needed for team practices.
As this new season begins, Kris plans to build on the strong foundation that’s already in place.
“Receiving this award comes with a huge responsibility to hold to the standard we’ve set and to get even better,” she explained.
Kris hopes to improve the award-winning program by providing additional training for coaches to help them recognize and work with youth who may be at risk. She also plans to increase opportunities for community involvement on behalf of The Salvation Army.
“We have the chance to tell our story and reach our community on a different field than many corps get to,” concluded Kris. “It’s a unique opportunity for us to show God’s love through sports.”