Middle school girls travel basketball new to Hood River

Hood River travel basketball will expand from only boys travel basketball to both boys and girls teams for grades 6-8. Girls travel basketball will hold tryouts after a parent meeting on Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.; date of the tryouts has yet to be announced. Last year, the girls and boys sixth-grade travel basketball teams (pictured) scrimmaged each other with two high school basketball players refereeing.


Hood River travel basketball will expand from only boys travel basketball to both boys and girls teams for grades 6-8. Girls travel basketball will hold tryouts after a parent meeting on Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.; date of the tryouts has yet to be announced. Last year, the girls and boys sixth-grade travel basketball teams (pictured) scrimmaged each other with two high school basketball players refereeing.



Sports in Hood River over the past few years has seen a growth in travel ball teams, which occur outside of the traditional season sports calendar at schools, and the next sport to see an evolution in its travel ball season is girls basketball.

In recent history, there has not been any opportunity for girls to play travel basketball through Community Education in Hood River, that was until last year.

In 2017, during the boys travel basketball tryouts, enough girls interested in playing basketball showed up, and with some recruitment of players, coaches were able to form a sixth grade girls travel basketball team.

Last year’s formation of the sixth-grade team ultimately led to this year’s attempt to grow the girls travel basketball program in Hood River and inform others the benefits of travel ball.

“Travel basketball allows for the development of advance basketball skills needed for high school,” said Nicole Schrankel, an organizer of the girls travel basketball program. “Yes, the play tends to be more aggressive, but also the players learn to play ‘full court,’ and gain more game IQ with more use of plays and screens, which will be critical for high school play.”

Last year, the girls played upwards to 30 games throughout the season, with a lot of weekends consisting of three or four games and then scrimmaging local teams during the week.

“Competition is as tough as you want,” said coach Kyle Rosselle. “What I saw in last year’s program was that not only did each girl become better basketball players, but they also grew mentally. They were challenged throughout the season, and they stepped up to each challenge.”

This year there is a brand-new listing in the Community Education catalog for girls travel basketball, and tryouts for the team will be held after a parent meeting on Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.; specific date of tryouts has yet to be announced.

“Along with the importance of honing their basketball skills, I also want to add another benefit of the travel team is social network and friendships for the girls,” said Schrankel. “My daughter’s core group of friendships is her team, and I imagine this will continue on into high school. This social support is key during the early teen years.”

Registration for the travel ball team is not required prior to the parents meeting, and by registering that does not mean that the athlete will be placed on a team; there will be a tryout.

The tryouts are being held for middle school girls, grades 6-8, and it will occur a month earlier than the traditional boys tryouts.

The reasoning for the earlier tryout date is so that the fall basketball season and winter basketball season don’t overlap.

This will allow the girls travel ball team to participate in the fall basketball season, and then the girls can go on to play for their middle school or Community Education teams, both starting after Christmas break for the girls.

If the athlete is selected to participate on one of the travel ball teams, a payment of $220 will be required to play.

However, tuition is subject to change based upon number of tournaments that are chosen.

Athletes will travel to games starting in November and be finished by December, with additional tournament opportunities thereafter.

Middle school girls interested in travel basketball don’t need any previous basketball experience to attend the tryouts in October (specific date has yet to be announced).

“We’re trying to encourage kids to come out and give it a shot,” said Rosselle. Schrankel added, “We are going to do our best to try and get everyone on a team.”



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