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Former Madison Heights High School Star Launches Academy

October 24, 2011
Anderson Basketball Academy

By Megan McGraw For The Herald Bulletin ANDERSON, Ind. — Reacting to the closing of the Wigwam and seeking to make a “change in Anderson,” former Madison Heights High School basketball standout Benji Gibbs is starting a youth basketball program. Gibbs, who played professionally overseas, wants to ensure that every player who attends the Anderson Basketball Academy (ABA) has a positive learning experience. “I’ve poured my heart into this,” he said, “and I want to see it do well.” The ABA program will start today at White River Athletic Club, 1545 S. Scatterfield Road, with a 10 a.m.-2 p.m. tryout for boys and girls teams. Cost of the tryout is $30 per player. The tryout will feature basic fundamentals, including ball-handling, rebounding and shooting instruction. The session will end with full-court drills and 3-on-2 play. Parents are welcome to stay and enjoy the atmosphere while their children are participating. Featured stations will include sports performance, speed and agility. “I see (the program) as a way to give children something extracurricular to do,” said Amber Smith, ABA event coordinator. “This is a positive alternative that will also contribute to a healthy lifestyle.” Boys and girls, grades 4-8, are eligible to participate. The program, Gibbs said, will be fundamental in nature and will ensure a place for players at every level. Gibbs, who noted that the program is not-for-profit, is seeking coaches and others who want to play a role in helping the program grow. After today’s tryout, team practices and the start of the ABA’s open clinic will be Nov. 5. “When the Wigwam was closed down, I knew it was time for a change in Anderson,” Gibbs said. “Every child will be a part of a team, and they will be ready to play at game time.” Anderson Community Schools shuttered The Wigwam, Anderson’s famed 9,000-seat gym, at the end of last school year to cut costs. More info To learn more about the Anderson Basketball Academy, contact program director Benji Gibbs at 532-7079 or event coordinator Amber Smith at 610-5062 or visit the ABA website at www.ihigh.com/aybl.

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