Oscar Ramos, shown at high school practice Monday, is one of several Bulldog varsity basketball players - boys and girls - who played AAU basketball. Coaches are still needed for the 2009 Amateur Athletic Union basketball season that begins in a few weeks.

Photo by John Vandelinder

Oscar Ramos, shown at high school practice Monday, is one of several Bulldog varsity basketball players - boys and girls - who played AAU basketball. Coaches are still needed for the 2009 Amateur Athletic Union basketball season that begins in a few weeks.

Coaches still needed for AAU basketball

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If you go

What: AAU basketball preseason meeting

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Craig Intermediate School cafeteria, 201 E. Ninth St.

For more information, call Andrea Camp at 824-6214, or Shane Camilletti at 824-8185

Angie Charchalis, Moffat County High School girls basketball all-time leading point-scorer and Colorado High School All-state selection, did it.

And she ended up with a scholarship to the Colorado School of Mines.

Chayton Owens, 2008 Western Slope League first-teamer and current league-leading scorer, did it too.

He's working on his college videotape as you read this.

Markie Workman, Adams State/Colorado Northwestern Community College, has been there, too.

In fact, more than half of the current boys and girls varsity squads at MCHS have done it.

So, you may ask, what exactly is it?

They all played AAU hoops.

Amateur Athletic Union basketball, run by the Moffat Basketball Association, is a competitive youth basketball program for boys and girls in sixth through eighth grades.

Moffat County fields six teams in the league - three boys teams and three girls teams - one from each grade.

"We are starting practices in a few weeks," said Shane Camilletti, MBA vice president. "We learned from last year that we need to get started sooner. We were behind everybody else last season, so now we want to get a jump on things."

Problem is, this year's class of future Moffat County basketball stars needs coaches.

Eight positions are still available.

"Ideally, we would like to have two coaches per team," Camilletti said. "Right now, we only have four.'

But, armchair quarterbacks need not apply.

"That's a tough call," Camilletti said when asked how much experience is needed to coach. "For the sixth-graders, that's where it's more or less just basics, so you don't have to have a ton of experience. But, for the older kids, it's competitive and there are some good players out there. You are definitely going to have to know what's going on with the game of basketball if you want to coach them."

Also, Camilletti said a camp for AAU coaches, coordinated by MCHS coaches, will be held for a few days in the near future.

It's not the most glorious of coaching positions; volunteers don't get paid, but Camilletti said each team has its travel expenses taken care of by the league.

"It's tough, because the coaches are all volunteers," he said. "But, it's a great way to get involved with the community and help develop the athletes in town.

"A lot of the kids out there today, succeeding in basketball, got their start from playing AAU."

Prospective coaches and those parents who are interested in signing up a child can learn all about the ins-and-outs of AAU ball at a meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Craig Intermediate School cafeteria.

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