Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

PeeWee basketball event raises funds for junior hoops


Pierre Bibbs

Taije Stiles prepares to shoot a layup at the 2018 3-on-3 PeeWee Summer Slam.

Malta High School's Old Gym was the site on the 2018 3 Pee-Wee 3 on 3 Summer Slam on Saturday, June 30.

The event had thirteen teams in separate age groups ranging from kindergarten to third grade. There were teams from Malta, Fort Belknap, Rocky Boy, Hays, Sleeping Buffalo, Whitewater and other communities.

The event was put on and coordinated by Caitlin Anderson and Tia Stiles to raise money for youth basketball hoop attachments at the Old Gym.

"Growing up in Malta, everybody uses the Old Gym, whether you're in junior high, high school, or younger," Anderson said. "There is always open gym. A lot of people donate their time and this was an opportunity for us to be able to give back to the community and the younger kids that are wanting to play basketball."

According to Anderson, the hoop attachments will allow younger basketball players to enjoy the facility.

Throughout the event, one to two hundred athletes and parents could be seen in the gym.

"It was actually a pretty good turnout," Stiles said. "It was a hard weekend because of a lot of people being gone for the Fourth of July."

The event was originally put in motion because a similar three on three event was canceled.

"Another parent had asked if (my son) Taije wanted to play on a team and do a tournament that was going to be at the Red Whip," Stiles said. "It ended up being canceled. They were all excited that they were going to play and then they couldn't."

With both Anderson and Stiles having young boys that were eager to play in a team setting, they tag-teamed the idea.

"We decided that we could put one on and make it for the younger kids," Stiles said. "The younger kids just kind of follow their siblings all year and they don't get to play, so it's kind of fun for them to get an opportunity to play in a tournament themselves instead of just following their siblings around."

Both Anderson and Stiles grew up playing basketball, Stiles in Billings and Anderson in Malta. Anderson was a part of Malta's 2007 State B Champion M-ette team.

"(In Billings) They didn't start things like this that young," Stiles said. "Usually there you don't get to start anything until you're in second or third grade, so that's when I started playing, but I still loved it when I was younger."

Pierre Bibbs

Avi Oxarart drives towards the hoop at the 2018 3-on-3 PeeWee Summer Slam.

According to Stiles, starting kids young in team sports can be beneficial given the right situation.

"If you can get good coaches when they are that young, they start the fundamentals and it's only going to make them better as they grow and hopefully it keeps them doing something positive the whole time," Stiles said.

In hosting the event, Caitlin, Tia, and their spouses donated $500 for a new hoop attachment, along with a $150 donation to the Malta Parks and Recreation basketball program.

The duo will be putting on a Skills and Drills Fundamentals Camp in July for kids third grade and under.

"We are going to work with kids, get the basics down and continue the tradition of excellence with basketball in Malta," Anderson said.


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