Kirkland-based AAU Basketball Club, PRO Style Hoops won the Pacific Northwest AAU District Basketball Championship Tournament for 4th grade at Bellevue Community College March 21. The team qualified for AAU Nationals to be held this summer in Detroit, Mich.
Athletic Director for the program, Tim Barker began the program in April of 2008 with four 2nd graders and one first grader. The program expanded to include both a 3rd 4th grade team.
Several of those 4th graders went on this year to participate in the 2009-2010 Lake Washington High School 5th Grade Eastside Travel League basketball program, coached by Scott Heimdahl and Eric Willsey. Last June, Barker left the program he had started with four players and began to rebuild a new 3rd grade team, PRO Style Hoops.
Under new coach Leonard Harmon’s direction, the team has flourished, culminating with the district championship title. The team trains at several gyms including Best High School as they prepare to enter spring league basketball and compete in Eastern Washington AAU district, Inland Empire AAU District Championships in April.
As most young athletes are now participating in baseball and soccer, PRO Style Hoops basketball players prepare for more than 50 more league and tournament games before participating in Las Vegas in July for a week. Summing up the experience, “As all parents know, there is nothing more rewarding than watching your son or daughter develop and grow their confidence and skills in an activity that not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but life lessons through competition,” said Barker.