Yukon basketball coaches want players born in 1993, or since, on the hardwood this weekend.
Tryouts for Yukon’s boys and girls basketball teams for the Arctic Winter Games begin Friday and Saturday.
Whitehorse hosts the Games March 4-10, 2012.
“We’re excited because the tournament is here in Whitehorse, so we’re going to have home-court advantage,” said girls head coach Sarah Crane. “Were going to be playing at FH Collins, which is where we’re going to be practising.
“We’re also looking at a couple other tournaments outside the territory to get the team ready. So, hopefully, we’ll go to one in Vancouver and a couple in Alaska.”
“We have a tryout and selection process, and we’re going to try to select our 10 players that will give us our best chance at succeeding,” said boys head coach Tim Brady. “I’m pretty sure we’ll have 20 or so young men come out.
“We have lots of things we’re going to incorporate into the tryouts and we have some other coaches coming in to help with some evaluations.”
The girls team seems to have less of a foundation to build on. Due to small turnouts and a lack of commitment, Basketball Yukon did not send a girls team to compete at the Western Canada Summer Games in Kamloops, BC, in August.
“We had tryouts and we formed a team, but we were short on numbers,” said Crane. “Then we were having some attendance issues, so we decided to cut our losses.
“But this is an older age-group than the Westerns.”
The last Yukon girls team to compete was at the 2010 Arctic Winter Games in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
At the Western Games, Yukon’s boys team finished fifth out of six teams with a tight 60-59 come-from-behind win over NWT.
“It’s a different age-group, but boys who participated on that team would be eligible to try out,” said Brady.
Brady hopes to bring the boys squad to five tournaments this season, beginning with one in Delta Junction, Alaska, at the end of November.
There are 10 spots available for players on each team.
Team trials for the boys will take place Friday 8 to 9:30 p.m., Saturday 10 to 1 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 4 p.m. The girls’ trials will happen Saturday 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday 10:30 to 1 p.m. and Wednesday 8 to 9:30 p.m. Tryouts for both teams will take place at FH Collins Secondary.
“I’d like them to attend all the dates, but if they can’t, they can talk to me and if it’s a good enough reason, we can work something out,” said Crane.
“We’re looking for kids who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and athletic and with good attitudes.”
Contact Tom Patrick at