SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The pandemic put an end to many sports seasons here in South Dakota but one statewide basketball program is trying to keep kids active. Sacred Hoops is offering free virtual sessions on Zoom each week and hundreds of players from all over are already signing up.
From 6th graders to seniors in high school, these basketball players are avoiding boredom at home and getting in some much-needed hoops time.
Holsen: What’s it like for a high schooler in Howard right now?
Aslesen: We got online classes. So those take up 3-4 hours of the day. After that it’s pretty much you’re free to do whatever you want for the rest of the day which isn’t a whole lot.
Junior Sam Aslesen plays for the Sacred Hoops program and the Howard Tigers.
“A lot of it is hanging out with family or going out to the driveway shooting hoops. Doing these online workouts are nice. They really help take some of the boredom away. Tire you out a little bit,” Aslesen said.
“So many things have been taken away from them. Whether it be school, friends, sports, you name it. Everything they see right now is negativity,” Bertram said.
Allan Bertram is the Director of Sacred Hoops and has coached basketball in South Dakota for decades. On top of getting kids moving, he thinks offering free visits right now is an important way to give back and boost the athletes’ mental health.
“It’s 30 minutes of really hard, intense, it’s a great workout. Then I think it’s therapeutic in a way too because they’re seeing other people do it with them. It’s like being in a virtual gym almost,” Bertram said.
The Flandreau resident says families are getting creative with their home setups too. From allowing kids to ball in the kitchen and dining room to moving things out of the way in the garage.
“We’re all going through this together, so the more positivity that we can have through this thing, the better we’re going to all get through it. Just know that there’s people out there than can help,” Bertram said.
Bertram says it’s been so successful that he’s scheduled nine sessions this week and 12-15 for next week. 100 players can take part in each session.