New basketball club launches in Rockwood

Club a response to local demand to shoot hoops

ROCKWOOD – Kids and teens in Wellington County have a new opportunity to shoot hoops with the opening of the Rockwood Basketball Club. 

The idea for the club was sparked at Rockwood’s Party in the Park last summer, at which the International Basketball and Sports Academy (IBSA) ran a booth. 

IBSA Basketball director of operations Spencer MacDougall said parents kept approaching him and saying they wished there was somewhere more local than Guelph for their kids to play. 

So MacDougall looked into how the ISBA could support a community initiative to set up a club in Rockwood. 

IBSA Basketball is an organization that trains basketball players across the province, from four years old through to professional players. 

Beginning in April, the Rockwood Basketball Club will offer a skills development program for youth aged eight to 18 at Sacred Heart Catholic School on Saturday mornings. 

“Whether you’re a beginner looking to build a solid foundation or an experienced player looking to refine your skills, this program is for you,” officials state.

During the summer, officials are hoping to organize a basketball summer camp. 

And then in fall, the club plans to expand programming into a traditional house league format, with tryouts and teams. 

“The skills program is just a starting point where we can see how much interest there really is,” MacDougall explained. 

He said it’s important the club remain grounded in the local community, and it will grow and change based on the community’s needs. 

For example, the spring programming is all co-ed, but if there is ample interest in all-girls teams, they may form them in the future. 

MacDougall said he has seen significant growth in interest in youth basketball in the area, with the sport becoming one of the leaders of youth participation, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The amount of teams and youth playing basketball, especially in our programs in Guelph, has just exploded,” he told the Advertiser. 

“The number of teams has doubled, year after year.” 

Spencer said club officials want to connect with community members of all ages with an interest in basketball, and note they have volunteer opportunities as well as paid positions that will open up down the line. 

For information email 

To register for the spring skills academy (April 27 to June 22 for $149) visit—spring-skills-academy-2024.