One of Regina’s basketball courts is taking its last dribble. The downtown YMCA is closing Nov.23, and with it, a basketball court filled with memories. The gym on 13th Ave. had provided one of the few places in Regina for people to play basketball.
Keegan Edwards, a trainer for HoopLife in Regina, remembers getting his basketball start at the YMCA.
“I was a teenager at Sheldon Williams Collegiate when I started playing,” said Edwards. “Over the lunch hour we would hang out, shoot around and then after school we would take the bus over to the YMCA and start playing. I kind of got involved through the YMCA”
Edwards had worked at the YMCA for three years and now working in the basketball industry, said the court closing limits options for people to play.
“If you were to look at the states, over the summer and winter they have open parks and gyms available for kids almost 24/7,” said Edwards. “Here in Regina, you have the University which constantly has bookings, and then the YMCA which is a single court.”
Xavier Scott, who played basketball for Olds College in 2018-2019, had many memories that came from the YMCA courts.
“I was there every day or every second day for a good while playing at the Y. I would not be the player I am today without the YMCA,” Scott said.
“The Y is a great place in the community for people to come together,” said Scott. “I’ve met people playing basketball at the Y that I would never have met without it. The Y closing means people have to try and find another hoop, and there is not a whole lot of options.”
Steve Compton, the YMCA of Regina CEO, said that it is unfortunate one of Regina’s courts had to close.
“We had to make a very tough decision for the continuation of the Y, and the community,” said Compton.
“We understand how hard it is for the basketball community, and we really wish we could have come up with another outcome. We appreciate the basketball communities understanding and support through the years.”
The YMCA closing is not the only reason there has been a limited ability for people to get the ball in their hands.
“The number of programs we have here, are not set up for kids to be successful,” said Edwards. “We have the team Sask program, but it only gives an opportunity to the 12 kids that are on the team, and even then you have to pay to be a part of it which limits more kids.”
Youth are not the only people that will feel the loss of one of Regina’s courts
“For adults, you have the Regina Rec League, and the Men’s league, which provides some opportunities for adults to still play which is awesome,” said Edwards.
“But I think a lot of people just want to be able to go out and play a game and shoot the ball without being in a league. With the YMCA closing, that takes away a whole court, and it limits where people can go, which is now really only the University which is already difficult.”