YouthQuest(FLINT, MICHIGAN – MARCH 25, 2011) “Hoops Madness” hits Mott Community College’s Ballenger Field House on Saturday, March 26, 2011, as more than 1000 YouthQuest students take to the basketball court to learn the finer points of the game, have some fun – and shoot a few hoops with Flint’s Mayor Dayne Walling. The event begins at 9:30 a.m.

YouthQuest is a free after school program for K-8 students in Flint and Genesee County, managed by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. Students from all 15 YouthQuest schools from four school districts will be shuttled in to participate in the basketball event. Students will play in three shifts: 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.; and 2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

YouthQuest Hoops Madness

The objective of “Hoops Madness” is to get kids moving, experience teamwork, and provide lessons in sportsmanship, respect and social skills – all part of the new athletic program. Parents will watch as the students receive demonstrations in ball handling, shooting and defensive drills, and much more.

Linnell McKenney, a YouthQuest site team leader at Washington Elementary in Flint, will be on hand to engage the eager athletes with the demonstrations and instruction.  McKenney is a former WNBA player and two-time Hall of Fame inductee. She made the final cut for the 1980 U.S. Olympics, and played for the European Professional League for nearly six years in Rome and Italy.

“Basketball 101 is the goal for the day” she said. “My focus is to introduce the basic fundamentals of the game in a fun and energetic environment. This event will not only allow students to interact with kids from other YouthQuest sites, but it will help provide them with a foundation of skills that they can build on.”

For McKenney, “Hoops Madness” is a great opportunity for her “to share my love of this game with the students I love. “

“The YouthQuest sports program is laying critical groundwork in the physical and mental development of our students, “explains Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President, Operations and Employer Education & Training Connection at the Regional Chamber.  “It is our obligation as mentors to ensure children are exposed to the basic fundamentals of sports and education, so that they can develop solid social skills and a strong sense of self. This event is a fun approach to ensure students receive that.”

Ballenger Field House is located at 1401 E. Court St., in Flint.