Youth Hoops is coming back, with training set to start Nov. 5.

Youth Hoops Academy logoThis youth outreach program is run by Tyler Henderson, who also serves as owner and head coach.

“It’s a ministry to me. I’m passionate about basketball and our youth,” Henderson said.

“I feel I’m able to reach our youth through coaching. The mentoring aspect of the program is the most important thing we offer, if you ask me.”

Henderson has been running Youth Hoops since 2012.

Youth Hoops schedule

This weekend marks the beginning of training season for Youth Hoops.

The Nov. 5 training session consists of mentoring and skill development, and costs $25 per child.

Training activities will begin at 3 p.m., with third- to sixth-grade boys and girls going until 4 p.m.

Then the seventh- to 12th-grade boys and girls will have an hour from 4 to 5 p.m.

First- and second-grade boys and girls may train by appointment.

Following this session, tryouts will take place starting at 10 a.m. Nov. 11.

The tryouts are free of charge for kids in Cowley County and surrounding areas who are interested in playing travel team basketball.

All Youth Hoops activities in the next two weeks will be held at the Arkansas City Recreation Center, located at 225 E. Fifth Ave.

Help on and off the court

Youth Hoops isn’t just about basketball, though.

“Before we get started, we talk at the beginning to get to know each other. I want the kids to know I care for them,” Henderson said.

“I’m not just interested in what they do on the court, but off the court, as well. We pray before each practice — those that want to. We don’t force them. We have a scripture or quote of the week that we talk about.”

Henderson said he wants the children who attend Youth Hoops to feel comfortable coming to him, no matter what is going on in their lives.

“I hope the kids I work with know they can talk to me about anything. … For them, it’s good (to) have people you can trust.”

Rewarding effort

The package of basketball and faith is one Henderson balances for each group, with lessons that sometimes pertain to both subjects.

“We talk about perfect effort on and off the court, being unselfish, and how important our character is,” he said.

“I don’t want it to sound like I’m the only one (to) do the teaching here. I learn from the kids as well. We learn from each other.”

Henderson can be contacted at or (620) 446-2333.