Ponoka basketball players may get a chance to join a basketball club, depending on interest.
Potentially the program would see a club with a U15 team, a U18 team and a Jr. NBA Youth Basketball program for kids aged five to 12.
Dixon Dunkle, 26, is working to bring clubs to Sylvan Lake, Lacombe, Stettler and Drumheller for the spring season. Players in Ponoka could join the Lacombe club, the Lacombe Longhorns.
The Calgary-native is hoping to spread love for the game by bringing clubs to towns and cities where players don’t have a place to play.
“Central Alberta for spring ball they don’t really have clubs outside of Red Deer,” said Dunkle, who views Central Alberta has a second home with family roots in the area.
Dunkle has been a basketball coach for five years, including a stint with the Zone 2 team at the 2018 Alberta Summer Games.
To get the clubs off the ground he is looking to gauge interest from potential coaches and players.
“You’ve got to have people that say ‘hey I’m interesting in this, I want to help out, I want to do this’ and all that,” explained Dunkle. “I want to do this and if people want to do this [then] let’s do it,” said Dunkle in a phone interview.
The U15 and U18 teams would practice once a week and compete in tournaments from April to mid-July, depending on how much the basketball the teams want to play.
The Jr. NBA program, run through Basketball Canada, would run once a week over the course of 12 weeks.
Dunkle says he is looking for interest from both boys and girls looking to play spring basketball.
Sylvan Lake, Lacombe, Stettler and Drumheller would operate as individual clubs, with the club in Sylvan Lake being the West Central Warriors.
The Warriors would also include players from the Innisfail area.
The other clubs are the Stettler Stallions, Badlands Bandits and the Lacombe Longhorns.
Dunkle also sees areas such as Ponoka and Rimbey fall under the Longhorns’ territory.
Those interested in playing spring ball are asked to join the club’s Facebook group and fill out a registration form for free by the end of January.
The Warriors’ page can be found under West Central Warriors Basketball on Facebook.