One Town, One Team

For years, Westport has fielded 2 teams in each youth travel basketball age group. One was sponsored by the Westport Weston Family Y; the other by Westport PAL.

It was tough on kids, and their parents. It diluted the talent pool too.

Westport Y logoNow the 2 programs are joining forces. They’ll conduct joint tryouts, share coaching staffs and collaborate with scheduling practice time and league play, using school courts and the Y.

Following tryouts next month, boys and girls in grades 4 through 8 will be invited to play in a variety of Fairfield County Basketball League age groups and divisions, competing as “Westport PAL in association with the Westport Family YMCA teams.” There will be 15 teams in all.

Officials say the partnership is a response to parents’ concerns about having 2 separate FCBL programs for 1 community.

blog - Westport PAL

Jay Jaranko, senior program director for the Y, calls it “a win-win-win for both organizations, the town of Westport, and we think an even bigger win for the players and their teams.”

Howie Friedman, president of the PAL travel basketball program, says that the partnership with the Y is in line with his organization’s focus on maintaining the proper balance between competitiveness and fairness.

“Our PAL creed of ‘it’s all about the kids’ will truly be served by this collaboration,” he notes.

Last year's 5th grade boys Fairfield County Basketball League champs were a Westport YMCA team.

Last year’s 5th grade boys Fairfield County Basketball League champs were a Westport YMCA team.

2 responses to “One Town, One Team

  1. Sharon Horowitz

    This is great news! Special shout out to Jay Jaranko and Howie Friedman for their leadership.

  2. If there will be 15 teams across 5 grades I will assume that this means two teams of boys and only one for girls for each grade. It is my opinion that the Westport tradition of providing spots for only one girls team has turned away countless aspiring female basketball athletes in this town. It may be too late for grades 5-8 but, at the very least, please consider adding an additional team for grade 4 so that the girls will have the same opportunities as the boys. I am not sure about the financial sources of these two entities, but I am surprised that the town has allowed PAL and the YMCA to perpetuate what appears to be a violation under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act.