In 1891, James Naismith mounted two peach baskets on opposite walls of a gym, inventing the rudimentary version of what we know today as “shelving.” Take your basketball off this grand innovation with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get a seven-week youth basketball program at YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids in Wyoming (up to a $70 value).
Basketball courts in newly built facilities echo with youthful excitement near the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids' on-site sports medicine center. Groups of boys and girls in grades first through seventh, divided based on age, converge one day each week to practice basketball basics such as dribbling, passing, and harmonizing their squeaking sneakers. Pupils gather every Saturday to test their newfound abilities in a friendly match with another team amidst waves of applause and encouragement from families and coaches. Before the season begins, complimentary T-shirts give players a sense of belonging and help bolster wardrobes rendered obsolete by growth spurts. Schedules will vary according to age groups and coaches, and teams welcome basketball novices, intermediate players, and referees hoping to learn how the whistle works.