Out of nearly 600 teams, the 6th Grade Orlando Team Jayhawks were the lucky squad to Get Sponsored by POINT 3 this summer. A relatively young program that has only been around for about four years, the Jayhawks have grown and improved by leaps and bounds to where they are now considered one of the stronger programs in their age group nationally.
We had a chance to chat with the Jayhawks’ Assistant Coach, Dwayne Smith, to learn a little more about the squad we’ll be following throughout the spring and summer.
Still need Team Uniforms for your squad? Hit us up and we'll make sure you're set for 2015!
Developing Over The Years
Q: How did the team get its start?
A: It really all started with a 3rd grade rec league team. (Head Coach) Donovan Redden and I saw a group of boys that enjoyed playing and we decided to form an AAU team. That first year, I think we only won about two games, but our kids had fun, and we decided to keep at it.
It was amazing to see how quickly the boys improved. Already the next year we won a number of tournaments, and last summer, when the boys played in the 5th grade age groups, we started playing up against older age groups to really challenge the team. At Nationals we lost by two to a team that eventually won the championship, and it was clear the boys were really starting to compete.
So far this year, we’ve played five tournaments and won four of them, so we’re off to a great start.
A: Definitely, it's seeing the kids grow as individuals. We never started this program with the goal of winning games, we both want to help kids develop. We work a lot on individual skills. Some of the kids could barely dribble when we started, now they are very skilled for their age.
Still need Team Uniforms for your squad? Hit us up before the end of February and get free X-Wrap Socks for your players! (restrictions apply)
Fundraising Always a Challenge
Q: Where do you need to improve the most?
A: Funding is always a challenge for us. There is no big organization behind us, it’s just us coaches and the parents. Whatever we can do to raise more money, it will help the kids.
On the court, our kids are still young so they have a lot of room for mental growth. All of them have different personalities, so we need to coach them as individuals to help them grow.
Q: What do your players enjoy the most about playing for the Jayhawks?
A: No question, it’s about being together with their friends. That’s the most important reason this team has stayed together since the 3rd grade.