There's a new basketball league in town and it's just for young girls.
Research shows that after school programs and initiatives have the ability to positively influence and affect youth - emotionally, developmentally, and physically, by giving them a place to engage and learn outside the classroom.
That's why Lindsey Taylor, Executive Director of "Ballin' For A Cause", reached out to Danielle Roberts, Executive Director of the William-Emslie Family Branch YMCA to start a 6-week pilot program called, "Girls Got Game."
This developmental all girls basketball league is uniquely designed for young girls, ages 5 to 10, interested in learning the fundamentals of basketball, while meeting new friends in a safe place.
Taylor is no stranger to creating successful programs, like this one, for young people. Over the past decade, "Ballin' For A Cause" has serviced 3,500 youth, 80% of whom are at risk youth from Buffalo's inner city.
"I've seen the statistics and transformations with my own eyes," Taylor shared
"A majority of the leagues right now are for boys or are coed, but there's nothing specifically for girls. My daughter likes sports and even though she can play with the boys, this program teaches her, and her friends, they can do anything - play basketball, soccer, football, as long as she's having fun, she can do it," Taylor said.
7-year-old Melynnie Taylor agrees with her dad.
"They need something for girls, so we can play and have fun. Boys take the ball and don't give me a chance, I'm excited. I'm excited to score big," Mel said.
For Danielle Roberts, this partnership is about more than jsut serving the youth, it's about setting an example for young girls - through example.
"It's important that young girls see African American women in positions of power. Girls can do anything boys can do - sometimes even better."
This league runs January 10th - February 10th. For more information on registration, call the William-Emslie YMCA at (716) 845 - 4550.