When Jordan Graneto grew up in Keizer, there was a defined youth basketball structure for him to grow through as a player.
He’s trying to build a similar structure now that he’s the head boys basketball coach at North Salem High.
Graneto and Michael Herrmann are starting a youth basketball program for those in Grades 6-8 designed to be affordable. It will be called Future Vikings, though it’s open to any children.
“What we’re trying to do is provide the opportunity for all kids, basically, anyone who can afford it at a cheaper cost,” said Graneto, who is entering his second year a coach at North Salem.
“We want to have tournaments and we want to have coaches who are kind of funded by our youth program, know what they’re doing – so played in high school, played in college, coached at some point in their life instead of just some random dad going out there and coach them.”
In order to keep the program affordable for all youth, the program has been getting sponsorship from local businesses, including logos designed by Sweeney productions.
The program has already raised about $1,500 to get started.
“We’ve gotten a couple businesses to buy in already,” Graneto said. “Green Acres Landscape did something for us last year where we have a banner hanging up in our gym.
“That’s kind of gotten us started, but it’s not everything that we need. Those tournament costs are $400 apiece and jerseys are over $500. It adds up so we need more and we need to get the word out and we need coaches and players to know, too.”
The program will hold a series of fall clinics Oct. 5, Oct. 12, Oct. 19 and Oct. 26 at North Salem.
The clinic for those in first through fifth grades will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the one for those in sixth through eighth grade is from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The cost is $5.
Tryouts for the Future Vikings program will take place Nov. 2. Tryouts for sixth graders will run from 6-7 p.m., seventh graders from 7-8 p.m. and eighth graders from 8-9 p.m.
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