Fatherhood group starts youth basketball league
By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD – A new fall basketball league will be available for players from fourth through eighth grade.
It’s called the Future Collegiate Stars Youth Basketball League, and it’s organized by the Fatherhood Encouragement Project. The group has partnered with ILLBallerz along with Rockford Public Schools, Rockford Housing Authority, City of Rockford, Winnebago County, Northwest Community Center and Food 4 Fuel.
Fatherhood Encouragement Project President Dan Petrie said while the league will provide players with tools to succeed on the court, it will prepare them for the overall collegiate process.
“There will be financial aid and college application courses for athletes and parents,” he said in a release. “The league will encourage community service and provide a tutor for each team to focus on academic excellence.”
The league runs from Sept. 11 to Oct. Cost is $50 per child. Parents can register at illballerz.com.
Teams will be named after popular college basketball programs. Each player will get a jersey. Games will be at five different locations based on skill and grade levels. There will be player of the week awards, sportsmanship awards and an all-star weekend for each division.
About the Fatherhood Encouragement Project was founded in July 2015, when Petrie brought together a small group of fathers from different walks of life. Those fathers were united by the simple goal of wanting to be better dads. The peer-based group meets weekly and shares fears, frustrations and flaws, but also encourages their accomplishments and strengths.
In just three years, the project has mentored more than 100 men of all ages, races and stages of life through hangouts, open discussions and community events. R.