Scott Jenkins became involved in Dallas Youth Basketball when one of his children joined the league.
Jenkins was just getting started with a commitment that continues two decades later and more than a dozen years since he last had a child playing in the league.
Jenkins serves as president of the DYB, which wrapped up its latest season March 11 with a series of six championship games at Dallas High School.
“I started as a coach, then in my second year, they recruited me to be one of the commissioners of one of the leagues,” said Jenkins, who later worked in helping to obtain sponsors.
Jenkins was a board member when the league found itself in need of new leadership eight years ago and accepted a request to step up to president.
The league is going strong with 42 teams across six divisions. Teams of 7-8 players each compete in separate third-and-fourth grade, fifth-and-sixth grade and seventh-and-eighth grade divisions for boys and girls.
“We’re usually right around those numbers,” Jenkins said. “In third grade, you don’t get that many, but after the first year of them going to school and talking about the basketball league, our numbers jump from third to fourth unbelievably.”
Jenkins said the girls numbers drop slightly in seventh and eighth grade as players move up to play on the school’s freshman team, but the league works with the school as much as possible so that players who want to can do both.
The seventh-and-eighth grade teams play on the full court at Wycallis Elementary during the regular season. The lower age groups play cross court in the gym, allowing for two games, separated by a curtain.
While Jenkins said membership numbers have been steady, the recently completed season had a special feel to it. Graduates of the program led Dallas High School to its most successful boys season in more than a quarter century and also contributed to district and state success at local private schools.
“We should be looked at as the feeder program,” Jenkins said. “We’re getting them a taste of it in seventh and eighth grade as they go up through.
“It’s really nice to see those kids do well.”
Jenkins said he is not alone in maintaining a long-term commitment to the league.
Hanna and Olivia Johnson, senior players and twin daughters of Dallas High School girls varsity coach Kelly Johnson, joined their mother by assisting the league early in the tryout process and in designing drills.
Chrissy Mathers, whose son Matt, a senior at Dallas, hit the winning basket to clinch the varsity boys team’s state tournament berth, helps the league obtain sponsors.
Brent Berger helped Jenkins in his transition to president and continues to assist with various projects, as needed.
Jenkins said other volunteers have helped keep the league strong.
Reach the Dallas Post newsroom at 570-991-6387 or by email at email@example.com.