Art Sadtler basketball program assists burgeoning ballers

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

Last Saturday morning, I had an amazing flashback. I went to my daughter Meredith’s very first basketball game. She is 10 years old and is in fourth grade at Alpine Academy. Her team is participating in the Art Sadtler basketball program.

This is the exact same program where my older daughter, Abigail, began her basketball career. She went on to play eight more years, including all four years of high school.

I almost forgot how much she improved over that time period until I was reminded of where she first hit the hardwood all those years and games ago.

The Art Sadtler league is exceptional in its ability to provide an opportunity for beginners to compete, and at the very same time, learn the fundamentals of the game. The referees are instructed to call the game loosely and focus more on assisting the players in their understanding of the game and the rules.

The players get away with a few extra steps, they might not call double dribbling each and every time, 3 seconds in the lane isn’t always timed the same way it might be in a higher-level game. Those things aren’t as important as helping the burgeoning ballers develop a sense of achievement and an appreciation of the game.

After spending the last few seasons watching some of the best the area has to offer in girls’ basketball, now (thanks to Meredith) I’ve been transported back in time to where it all began. I sincerely hope she gets as much out of it as her big sister and I did.

Even though she lost her first game, she seemed to have fun, and even though in the world of sports we sometimes forget, that is truly what it is all about at her age. Thanks, Art Sadtler!

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

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