The excuse that there's nothing to do in Craig is becoming less justified for the city's youths.
A restructured AAU league, called the Moffat Basketball Association, is starting. The league is expanding opportunities for youths to play basketball.
Steve Maneotis is the coordinator.
"We wanted to develop the AAU league as something that could be year-round," Maneotis said.
The MBA's first function is a 3-on-3 season for seventh- and eighth-grade girls. The association hosted a clinic for those girls Tuesday evening and will hold another from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Craig Middle School.
"We hope to let any girl interested at all in basketball to play," Maneotis said.
The 3-on-3 league's cost is $20, and that includes a membership to the Boys & Girls Club of Craig. If a girl already has a membership to the club, the cost is $10.
The teams will be chosen after tonight for 3-on-3. The season will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the club through Dec. 16.
When the new school semester begins, Maneotis said, there would be a similar 3-on-3 league for the boys. The 3-on-3 games consist of 20-minute games.
"Eventually, we hope to make it something for first through eighth grade," Maneotis said. "The girls are our trial run."
In the spring, the MBA will send teams to AAU tournaments.
"We are still the AAU program," he said. "I hope to have some clinics during the summer for them, as well."
Moffat County girls basketball coach Craig Mortensen said basketball programs for youths help him.
"The younger the age the fundamentals can be taught, the better it is for the athlete when they reach the high school level," he said. "When we don't have to spend as much times teaching the fundamentals, it speeds up the process."
Maneotis said that he had talked with the high school coaches when getting ideas for the association.
"It's an intramural league that gives kids something else to do," he said. "We hope it will be beneficial."