Milaca’s youth basketball teams shine at home, and in state tourneys

If you follow basketball, March Madness unfolds over the new few weeks. What you might not know is that many of your youth basketball players also compete in a March Madness.
There has been a new Association formed to accommodate the growing interest in basketball in the Milaca area. MYBA is the Milaca Youth Basketball Association. The association was created to help promote and guide our youth basketball players.
The mission statement for MYB is: Milaca Youth Basketball, Inc. (MYB) exists to provide an opportunity for boys and girls to participate in an environment that emphasizes fundamental basketball skills, teamwork, self discipline, good sportsmanship, and the development of a healthy, positive attitude.
“We had over 120 boys and girls sign up in our first year, ranging in age from 4th grade to 8th grade” said Cory Anderson, MYB president.
There are different skill levels for each age group. Currently, the association provides coaches for boys and girls on travel basketball and a coaches program. The coaches program is more local. Some of the teams are competing in tournaments in Foley and Mora. Some travel teams are in tournaments in Eagan and Coon Rapids.
All coaches, board of directors and committee members are volunteers. Many of them have previously coached at various levels and some have had great success.
As your season comes to a close, there is the MYAS state tournament. Almost all the teams go to the state tournament. You submit your record during the season for the various tournaments you play in and the selection committee puts you in the appropriate bracket. Then there is a seeding meeting and you play against teams that are matched to your ability level. It is typically a 16-team bracket. 1,394 teams participated in the tournament this year.
“The competition is fierce and fun. We have gone into overtime every time the last 3 years.   We’ve been fortunate to win every overtime. This year was against Edina. We went to double overtime, winning 47-46,” said Craig Maalis, coach of the eighth grade girl’s basketball team.
“As this was the first year for MYB, we really wanted to get some new, matching uniforms for the kids. Many of us have been using practice jerseys or whatever we could scrape up and sort of organizing our own thing. The MYB has brought us the ability to fundraise as a group and provided a structure to the whole tournament process,” said Anderson.
“In addition, I’d like to thank our sponsors this year. They really helped us out with the new uniform cost and we couldn’t have done it without them,”said Anderson.
“Previously, the individual coaches would have to contact Community Education and see if they could get some gym time. Now it is all laid out in an Excel document by Bob Sumner so we know what is available,” said Maalis.
Last Spring, Bob Sumner, community education director and Jerry Hansen, Milaca superintendent, saw the growing need to get some structure in the basketball program. They called a meeting of interested coaches and parents to see if they could come up with a plan.
“Their vision and leadership was invaluable to this organizational process,” said Anderson.  “By the end of June, we had elected a board of directors, written by-laws, written articles of incorporation, and had been recognized by the State.  We are now awaiting response from the Federal Government for out 501C3 status (non-profit) which was filed in January.”
“The parents, donors, volunteers, and players have been amazing throughout the year.  The energy, enthusiasm, and generosity have been overwhelming!  We are so proud of them all,” Anderson continued.
“We have a meeting every month during season, and will meet at least bi-monthly in the offseason. We can always use help, especially with committees. We have committees for: marketing/fundraising, equipment, coaches, and tournaments/league play. The public is always welcome.  We post our board meeting times on our new website, www.milacahoops.com, and can be “liked” on Facebook” said Anderson.
“We’ve had both the boys and girls varsity coaches at our meetings as well. They are there to provide direction on what skills they would like us to be teaching at which age levels,”said Maalis.
“All of our players had one of the best tournament experiences they have had in their young careers.  We lost by 1 point in a thrilling double overtime championship game to a very good team from Apple Valley. Every aspect of the tournament was run very professionally and everyone involved from the MYAS should be very proud.  We would like to thank the Milaca Youth Basketball Association for their unwavering support throughout this great season,” said Garrett Molacek, sixth grade boys coach.
“Our team took second at the state tournament, winning over Centennial, Farmington and Stewartville before the one point loss,” said Molacek.
“We look forward to another great season next year. If you have questions about MYB or would like to become involved, contact any of our board members on our website,” said Anderson.

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