Lufkin Little Dribblers kick-off new season - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Lufkin Little Dribblers kick-off new season

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

Saturday morning panther gym was set for a day filled with basketball.

 "We have a total of 300 kids that will be participating in our opening ceremony," said Ruben Esteves, Athletic Coordinator, City of Lufkin."

32 teams took the floor during the Lufkin Little Dribblers opening ceremony, boys and girls from ages five to 14 geared up for six weeks of basketball.

Athletic Coordinator for the city Ruben Esteves says the program continues to grow each year, last year there were 230 players this year they've increased by 70.

 "Our kids have extended as far as age group and number of the amount of teams we have for the city," said Esteves.

President of the league Charles Bennett said for coaches and players practices and games are about more than just basketball.

 "Sports are very important in a kid's life and the faster they get into sports they learn discipline, they learn leadership, they learn teamwork, they learn skills that will help them later in life," said Bennett.

Throughout the history of the program many of the players continue throughout their high school careers today varsity athletes gave these young players a few words of encouragement.

 "We bring in former players , players on the varsity level that come up through our league so the kids can see that with hard work they can also be on varsity and also succeed in their goals," said Bennett.

And officials hope their example will help each player to reach their full potential on and off the court.

Each team practices twice a week and play games on Saturday.

The season will end the first week of February.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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