RSL, Athlos Academy team up for youth basketball programOct 21, 2020 12:25PM ● By Justin Adams
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
Two Herriman charter schools are teaming up on the basketball court this fall.
RSL Academy and Athlos Academy are forming a youth basketball program for kids in grades 3–8. The program is part of a broader effort on the part of RSL Academy to incorporate basketball into its mission.
This July, the RSL Basketball Academy was formed. In a press release, the academy declared its goal “to become the premier athletic and academic basketball development program in the United States.”
Like their soccer-playing peers, players in the new basketball program will live in the on-campus residence halls and attend RSL Academy High School, whose blended learning model allows athletes more flexibility to travel the country with their team throughout the year.
Helming the new team will be David Evans, who led former teams at Lone Peak and Wasatch Academy to national prominence.
Like any program with lofty goals, the RSL Academy basketball team will need a way to identify and develop future talent. One way to do that is with a youth program.
The two schools already have a matriculation agreement (when eighth graders at Athlos Academy graduate, they have a guaranteed spot at RSL Academy High School if they want to go there). So, Evans began working with Athlos’ lead athletic coach Dan Price to put together a youth program.
“Coach Evans’ philosophy with youth sports aligns very closely with our philosophy: multi-sport participation, no cuts, every kid gets a chance to play, and a focus on skill development and having fun,” Price said. “When we started talking about it, it ended up being a very natural partnership.”
The program will compete in local Bantam leagues, which are a step above local recreation leagues and Junior Jazz but also not the highest level of competition either. That balance is increasingly important in today’s world where the pressure to win sometimes causes kids to lose interest in sports.
“The emphasis goes away from having fun and developing skills, which are really important for lifelong physical activity and goes more toward winning, being the best on the team,” Price said. “After several years of that, kids start to crack, and they don’t enjoy the sport anymore.”
The program is fielding teams of kids in grades three through eight to compete this fall. While the teams will mostly be coached by parents, they’ll also benefit from the involvement of Evans, who will be running skills clinics for all the players throughout the season. At a parents’ meeting before a Sept. 16 tryout, Evans said he likes to develop young players with the same system he employs, one that emphasizes a fast-pace of play and ball movement.
Tryouts for the new program will be over by the time this print edition reaches Herriman mailboxes, but residents who are interested in future participation can follow the Facebook pages for Athlos Academy or RSL Academy for updates or email Dan Price at [email protected] for questions.