It was an energetic scene, inside the Upper Moreland Middle School's gymnasium, as over 400-youth basketball players joined family and community supporters to help celebrate the Upper Moreland Hoops' opening ceremony.
The event, which took place on Jan. 7, recognized the Upper Moreland youth basketball players, whose ages range from 6 - 18, as well as the volunteer coaches and administration of UM Hoops.
According to Jeff Herb, the youth sports organization has held an opening ceremony for over 20 years now, and counting.
He said that many parents encourage their children to participate in the organization to help provide a positive outlet in their lives.
“I just want to see the kids have lots of opportunities,” Ron Slagle, who handles registration for the organization, said. “But I think in addition to the educational piece of growing up, it’s important to be involved with a lot of things and have lots of interests as well.
"We enrolled Joey in Upper Moreland Hoops, because it’s a great program," Joe Smith, whose son, Joey, plays in the 8-9 Boys league. "He gets to play with his friends, get exercise, and he learns the fundamentals of the game."
UM Hoops has eight leagues, catering to youth that are just beginning to learn the game up to older youth, who play against other youth in the same age bracket within the township. The organization also hosts travelling teams, whose youth play against teams in other townships and counties.
As part of the celebration, UM Hoops invited the Harlem Wizards, an internationally renown basketball entertainment team, to help those in attendance leave with a bigger smile than the one they came in with.
For the full story, please click on the video.
A larger photo gallery of the event will be posted later tonight
The following are the 2011-2012 UM Hoops Sponsors:
* Carr & Duf
* Dr. Checkoff and Casey Orthodontics
* Kampus Klothes
* Renu Labs
* Upper Moreland Education Assoc
* JC Campoli Photography
* Upper Moreland TWP Police Benevolent Assoc
For more information, visit the UM Hoops website.