Youngsters from across the region will reach for fame and honing their skills this weekend as dreams of basketball stardom blossom in their minds.
About 32 of the area’s youth — spanning from Windsor to Sterling — will compete in the Denver Nuggets Skills Challenge sectional competition at 12:30 p.m. today at the Community Recreation Center, 250 North 11th St. Areas of focus include dribbling, passing and shooting — the talent that can give kids the biggest edge over their competitors. The sectional winners will advance to the finals in Denver, and each will receive a four-pack of Nuggets tickets.
The pool of athletes was trimmed down from the Jan. 19 local event, which attracted nearly 70 kids.
“It’s really been a good competition,” said Bobby Warner, Windsor’s recreation supervisor and the state coordinator of the competition. He said the event is now in its seventh year in Windsor, and he has seen participation surge, especially recently. While the dream of going to a professional basketball game is the goal for many youth, Warner said it’s the thrill of winning a state-wide event that keeps most of the kids coming back year after year.
“You don’t have to be a competitive kid, necessarily, to win the skills competition,” he added.
The first place boy and girl at the sectional competition will advance to the state competition in Denver, slated for March 9. The NBA game follows the competition-filled day.
The annual event is a partnership between the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association.
Having the event right in the middle of recreation league’s traditional season, Warner said, is an added bonus and can help the kids’ skill levels in a different — often more fun — practice environment.
“It’s kind of a tune-up,” he said. “It’s fun for the kids to have an opportunity to go to a state competition.”